by Charles Simic
If I had an ounce of good sense
I’d stay put in the country
Rising early to hear the birds
And see the sun come up,
Taking long walks after lunch,
Stopping only to talk to a crow,
Or a dog who happens by.
The trouble is, I like to raise hell
As much as I like sitting quietly
Like a monk in his cell.
A car careening with a screech,
Carrying a party of revellers
To another late-night dive in the city,
Sends me into ecstasies.
To marry wisdom to foolishness
Has been my lifelong desire
Since I take pleasure in both their company
And attend their council.
A blessing from my parents
Who alternated bickering
And swearing love for each other.
These thoughts and others came to me
While I slept in my bed,
And, for all I know, may have been whispered
Into my ear by the black cat
Who keeps a nightly vigil by my side,
So mice don’t nibble my toes
Or take shortcuts over my pillow.