Jeff Walt: “The Life You Want”


Everywhere you look you see it:
running by each morning in Spandex,
resting in a hammock sipping tea

most afternoons. From chic magazines,
you cut a Humvee, a log cabin in Montana,
and a sleek, bronzed body.

Your sorrows grow faster than your garden.
The peonies understand serenity better—
you resent their beauty, their quiet knowledge.

Anxiety a dog that always needs walking.
Envy builds a hive in your head. So you read
self-help books, repeat the angelic affirmations.

Then forget it all
standing in line at Wal-Mart, wanting to kill the clerk
because she’s slow, hating the guy in front of you

for buying so much stuff, pissed
because they haven’t discovered a way
to squeeze enlightenment into your shampoo;

because you can’t order it off a drive-thru menu,
get it SuperSized. You’ve seen the life you want pulling fruit
from its orchard, losing weight and making friends,

humming sweetly on the other side of the hedge—
giving freely what you can’t understand. How?
and Why not me? rotting like bruised apples inside your head.


Visit Jeff’s blog here for more great poems and literary links.

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