IT’S A LOT
(After Jon Sands)
It’s a lot to wake each day and lift your body
from the warm bed into the cold morning air.
And it’s a lot to then dress for your morning run,
to step outside and watch your breath freeze
into clouds in front of your face while you jog
in place, waiting for your watch to synch.
It’s a lot to remember to put the trash bins out
each Thursday night, to pull them back in Friday
morning, empty and ready to accept all we throw away.
It’s a lot to do the daily exercises your physical
therapist has prescribed, to know it’s good
for your body but to still begrudge them anyway.
To hike with your dog every single day, to know
one skipped day because of crappy weather
or a meeting that runs long or just because
you’re tired is a day she’ll be more anxious —
it’s a lot. And to try to love openly, to be quick
with forgiveness and slow with frustration.
It’s a lot to not eat a dozen chocolate chip
cookies as you pull them warm from the oven.
It’s a lot to floss each day, to wear a mask anytime
you venture out, and to not scream at your friends
who post pictures clearly violating the six-foot rule.
And to work your way down your to-do list knowing
you’ll add two things for every one you cross off,
it’s a lot. It’s a lot to get a call from your brother
and then one from your sister, for them to relay
the doctors’ messages. And it’s a lot to know
the only time you flew this year was not to taste
a new country or to get lost on the cramped streets
of a foreign land, but to say goodbye. To hold
your father’s hand and kiss his cheek — it’s a lot
to know it was for the last time. It’s a lot to meal
plan and grocery shop and not be annoyed
when there are no snacks in the house when you
purposefully did not buy snacks. And it’s a lot
to support your friend through chemo,
and your other friend through her son’s diagnosis,
and your mother through her grief. It’s a lot
to swim through your own grief. And to put
on pants every day and write poems and emails
and calendar reminders, it’s a lot. And this life,
this beautiful, wretched, complicated, glorious life.
It’s a lot.
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the full length collections Exquisite Bloody, Beating Heart (Riot in Your Throat) and Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press). She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Riot in Your Throat, an independent poetry press. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Read her publications on her blog: www.wordperv.com. Follow her on Twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.
Read more of Courtney here.