22 | The Way It Is or Isn’t

I prefer to rise with the sun
and swim in my neighbor’s pond.
I prefer to take tea in the morning
and again in the afternoon.
I prefer to raise wild orchids
and cut my corn off the cob.
I prefer the sound of rain to thunder
and autumn and winter and
spring and summer to their end.
And I prefer reading by candlelight
and running by the light of the moon.

These things I prefer but do not demand.
There are whole days without tea.
Some seasons the orchids wilt
and I must use my teeth on the cob.
Sometimes the pond is frozen over,
and there is thunder but little rain.
Some nights the clouds hide the moon
and autumn and winter and spring
and summer seem each to live forever.
But that is ok by me. I prefer it this way,
the way it is or isn’t. All of it is preferable
as it is. There is nothing I’d have otherwise.

Benjamin D. Carson lives with his dog Dora on the South Shore of Massachusetts. His creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in over a dozen publications, including Red Fez, The Ampersand Review, Cactus Heart, The Poetry Porch, Gyroscope, Yellow Medicine Review, Rumble Fish Quarterly, Dunes Review, Edify Fiction, and October Hill Magazine.