By Eric Torgersen

Featured Image: “Study for “Le Bain”: Two Women and a Child in a Boat” by Mary Cassatt

You’ve got to act, and soon, but you don’t dare yet.
There’s one big load you don’t think you can bear yet.

You chose to dive this deep; it’s not for me
to tell you why you can’t come up for air yet.

You had big plans. You’re running out of time.
There’s no excuse to contemplate despair yet.

All that time and trouble spent on you.
For all the rest, you don’t have much to spare yet.

The world should find some meaning in your work?
You haven’t shown us why we ought to care yet.

Don’t give me that I-don’t-get-it look.
Sixty-five, and still not self-aware yet.

You might just want to start to pack your bags.
You may not have enough to pay the fare yet,

but that doesn’t mean the taxi’s not on its way.
Look out the window. No, it isn’t there. Yet.

Call it what you will, but thank something, Eric.
There’s one stiff suit you haven’t had to wear yet.

Eric Torgersen’s most recent book is In Which We See Our Selves: American Ghazals, Mayapple Press, 2017. He is completing a third book about Rilke, after Dear Friend: Rainer Maria Rilke and Paula Modersohn-Becker, and the novella The Man Who Loved Rilke.

Originally appeared in NOR 11.

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