What Matters: Like It Or Not

What matters,
like it or not,
is that the world comes at us
without warning.

It finds us without our asking,
without our worrying and wailing
as we dry the dishes
or wait for the bus.

Like it or not,
the tips of our fingers
are as good a way to hang on
as any other.

Like it or not,
the world looks at you
the way your child does,
clear-eyed and expectant.

Like it or not,
you also have to eat
what is in front of you.

What matters,
like it or not,
is that everything that is beautiful
fades, falls, and breaks.

(We have, we do, we will.)

(It doesn’t matter.)

Like it or not,
this is the road we are on
because this is the way to the garden,
though the days in the garden
are long past.

Like it not not,
you have to get up now,
the bell is ringing,
the clouds are flying
across the morning sky,
and the tide has pulled itself
away from shore.

Like it or not,
the world spins around
and the people who were here,
are someplace else now,
and who you used to be,
is gone as well.

Like or not,
we are all a little bit lost
but always where we should be.
Like it not,
here we are,
on our knees in the dark,
wiping our eyes,
wiping our noses,
trying to make a deal,
even though we are the ones
who blew the house down.

Like it not,
life and death are both thieves.

Like it or not,
it doesn’t matter,
that what they steal,
they keep better for us
than we could keep for ourselves.
But they both promise,
(this is what matters),
they promise to give it back.

Copyright Kay Winter

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