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Learning About Life

Photo: Shelley Moon Hayes

The older man sitting next to me asked if I am a writer.

I said that it’s one of many things I do.

I asked him about himself.

His response:

“Me, I am learning about life.”

His comment made me wonder if I could distill

all the various facets of myself into one guiding theme.

I landed on this:

I am exploring what it means to be a human being on the planet in 2019.

This poem seems to fit that exploration.

Odd Things Humans Do

(as described by a human who does odd things)

Put things in boxes

With labels

On high shelves

In closets

And pretend

That if they can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

Build fences around backyards

Then plant rosebushes in the front

And complain when the deer eat the flowers.

Spend time.

Waste space.


Stifle sneezes.

Suppress laughter.

Smother smiles.



Refuse to let go.

Compare themselves to others.

Compare themselves to anything.

Compare anything to anything.

Tell each other what to do,

Or how to feel,

Or whom to love.

Make rules about love.

Put limits on love.

Look in the mirror and see anything other than love.

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