I Foresee the Breaking of All That Is Breakable

by John Estes

Perhaps, after all, it is merely a desire
to use the word thanatopsical
but if you can wash or handle
artifacts like this blue
tea mug, carried from Crete as a gift
from a friend, or this nacreous
orange bowl,
a honeymoon souvenir
bought in a now-defunct artists'
shop in Colorado, or
this antique Chinese mudman
carrying his sponges
and fish from a day at the pier,
without a pathological
fixation on the day you will stumble
and drop it, or smack it
against the sink divider or brush
it with a hand reaching
for the letter opener, you are junzi:
a superior person, as Confucius had it.
You probably make love
to your spouse without imagining
betrayal and pay taxes
without complaint
because you think nothing
in truth belongs to you.

They invented the earth for people
like you, and then salted it.

please note: photo by jon.noj


  1. Interesting....
    Once a teacher wrote in my yearbook...that I always seemed surprised by life....and went on to say that it was a good quality to keep......truly, I am always surprised by life, no virtue on my part. How about you?


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