Poem for the Day: August 17th, 2021

I Was Minor by Olena Kalytiak Davis

Today’s poem is one of my favorites. I hope you love it as much as I do.

In this life,
I was very minor.

I was a minor lover.
There was maybe a day, a night
or two, when I was on.

I was, would have been,
a minor daughter,
had my parents lived.

I was a minor runner. I was
a minor thinker. In the middle
distance, not too fast.

I was a minor mother: only
two, and sometimes,
I was mean to them.

I was a minor beauty.
I was a minor Buddhist.
There was a certain symmetry, but
it, too, was minor.

My poems were not major
enough to even make me
a “minor poet,”

but I did sit here
instead of getting up, getting
the gun, loading it.

Counting,
killing myself.

Copyright © 2016 Olena Kalytiak Davis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 31, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

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