The Certainty of Work
by Theodora Goss
That night I lay in bed,
a compact bundle of nerve and muscle and bone,
under the coverlet,
wondering where my life was going
and where it had gone.
Feeling the darkness around me
promising nothing — no future except the dark
of the grave at last,
and until then, the certainty of work.
Work for pay, so I could have shelter and food,
and the truer work
that inheres in the bone and blood —
the work that is in me while I breathe
So I lay
alone with despair and hope
in the quiet night.
(The print is by the Japanese artist Ohara Koson.)