One of my absolute favorite poems.
I share it in my yoga classes and now with you here.
Don’t Expect Applause
And yet, wouldn’t it be welcome
At the end of the each ordinary day?
The audience could be small, the theater modest,
Folding chairs in the church basement would do,
Just a short, earnest burst of applause
That you got up that morning
And one way or another you made it through the day
You soaked up in the steaming shower
Drank your Starbucks in the car
And let the guy with the windex wipe your windshield
At the long red light at broad street.
Or maybe you were that guy, not daring to light up as you stood there because everyone’s so down on smoking these days.
Or you kissed your wife as she hurried out the door,
Even though you were pretty sure she was meeting her lover
At the flamingo motel,
Even though you wanted to grab her by a hank of her sleek hair.
Maybe your son’s in jail, your daughter’s stopped eating
And your husband’s still dead this morning,
Just like he was yesterday and the day before that.
And yet you put on your shoes and go for a walk
And when a neighbor says good morning
You say good morning back.
Would a round of applause be amiss?
Even if you weren’t good, if you yelled at your kid
Poisoned the ants, drank too much,
And said that really stupid thing you promised yourself you wouldn’t say.
Even if you don’t deserve it.
What are your thoughts? Wouldn’t it be nice at the end of an ordinary day?