Any Day Now, by Michael Brandt


I’m going to stop trying 
to justify my existence. 
I’m going to accept that 
some people are just lucky 
and some aren’t, 
that the absence of sacrifice from my life 
has had more to do with circumstances 
than with willingness, 
that the pleasures I’ve enjoyed 
have not necessarily come 
at the expense of another. 

Any day now 
I will extinguish the anger 
which has simmered just beneath the skin 
for nearly a half century. 
I will admit how little it mattered, 
what an empty offering it has proved 
to those who suffer. 

Any day now 
I will begin to measure my performance 
against history rather than fables, 
to recognize nothing unique in my story 
or even in how I’m feeling right now. 
I will simply sit here on my porch 
from where no sign of hatred, inequity or 
destruction may be seen 
and calmly sip my morning coffee. 

Any day now 
I will undergo a transformation 
shedding my identity of witness to a thousand woes 
learning to live placidly 
in the habit of unassuming archivist. 
Any day now. 

But not today. 

Michael Brandt, Arena