“Isn’t Today Worth Fighting for?”
-found scribbled in an old journal
I don’t know what I meant
on a different today than today’s use of same
back before the turn of the millennium,
before drug problems, rehab, & jail,
before divorce—a time before questions
mattered to me, or the answers
I find inside me as if scrolls.
I can’t say if I intended to respond,
if the words were someone else’s
left too long in a notebook in a drawer.
It’s my handwriting, I’m sure:
squiggles & stains of a black snake
slaughtered on the road by an 18-wheeler.
Not my sort of sentiment. Not then.
There’s too much hope. I wouldn’t
promise myself the excitement
I feel in today’s today as I watch
chipmunks disappear down invisible holes,
a crimson woody climb an oak
when it could fly more easily,
or on TV, TBS showing old movies
that remind me of my childhood—
a time when I still thought life
would be all starships & laser beams.
I wasn’t dreading it like the 1990s’ me,
the one that must have written this line
I find so surprising I had to
prove it wrong to learn it’s right.
Ace Boggess is author of the novel A Song Without a Melody (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016) and two books of poetry, most recently, The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014). Forthcoming is a third poetry collection: Ultra-Deep Field (Brick Road). His poems have appeared in Harvard Review, Rattle, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.