One day at a time

Didn’t fix an engine
Didn’t break the ground
Didn’t sign on the dotted line
To make a million pounds.

Didn’t cut a record
Didn’t fly a plane
Didn’t cook, write a classic book
Or operate on brains.

Didn’t tend a garden
Didn’t build a wall
Didn’t do what I wanted to
Or anything much at all.

Didn’t drive cross-country
Didn’t serve cold beer
Can’t quite say what I did today
Or what I’m doing here.

Didn’t crack my spirit.
Didn’t break my heart.
Not much to show for the day, I know,
But I made it. That’s a start.

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High plains drifter

Long days
Long gone
In unknown, airless lands
Alone;
A wordless drifter,
Eyes half-closed
Against the glare.
Out there,
They said, I’d find some answers:
God knows I searched
For sign in soft creek beds,
Scuffed down dry arroyos
In a boil of dust and gravel
Stood rim-rocked on the canyon’s edge
And stared out at the plains of promise
Shimmering, unreachable
Across the great divide.
Turned around and tried retracing
All my sidewinder steps. Too late:
Hot high wind and freak flash flood
Erased my passing from the earth,
Left my mind’s big wide-open
Empty as the drunk man’s threats.
I shot at shadows,
Spoke with stones
And tried to set my loop
Around the breeze.
Lost my mount
And found myself
Afoot In all that elemental space
With only two rounds left.
This one
Loosed off in the air
To boom and echo
Unheard in the void:
The last
Saved for myself.