I have reached Day 3 of the month-long poem-a-day challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. This might just be a new record for me. I've never made it to January 3 with a new year's resolution, or to the third day of a fast, or even of a feast.
Of course, "making it" to Day 3 involves actually producing a poem on the subject of the challenge, when Kerry has managed to dredge up an old bugaboo of mine: the subject of existentialism. Not a favorite.
It was a subject held in high regard when I was young. My friends flouted and spouted the existential works and words of Jean Paul Sartre, when I couldn't even get close to there. Having been thoroughly and happily raised with an awareness of humanity's interconnectedness, I didn't even want to try to wrap my mind around the idea of every-man/woman/child-for-him/herself.
Besides, Sartre had just turned down the Nobel Prize for Literature. What kind of damfool writer would do that?
It would be too much to say I was dismayed by Kerry's choice of subject for today. I wasn't very wide awake when I first read it, so let's just say I was slightly stunned. By the time I woke up enough to take it all in, the following ditty was fermenting (or fomenting?) in my sub- (or semi?) conscious mind.
A Woman as an Island
Kay L. Davies, April 3, 2013
I am alone on the continent now...
who would have guessed my particular unfittedness
would protect me from The End?
everyone was outside,
but I was napping,
and they watched the rockets hit them as I slept.
breathing through the distilled water
of my sleep apnea machine, I didn’t inhale
the dust that killed my world.
I am alone in that world now...
owing nothing to anyone else, except thanks
to my late, compulsive-shopper husband
who filled every nook and cranny of the house
with single-serving cans of hearty soups
which he bought to earn triple Airmiles.
I will eat, and I will sleep,
and perhaps some day I’ll get around
to reading Sartre’s books, ignored in school.