Every morning I receive a poem from The Writers Almanac, every morning a gift for free – unbelievable, isn’t it?!
Reading today’s poem I was not sure whether to laugh or cry – actually I think this poem, and my response to it, can be taken as an epigram of what art & life is all about.
On the Interstate, my daughter tells me
she only has two questions. I’m relieved
because she usually has two hundred.
I say, Okay, let’s have them, and she asks,
What was there before there was anything?
Stupidly, I think I can answer this:
There was grass, forests, fields, meadows, rivers.
She stops me. No, Daddy. I mean before
there was anything at all, what was there?
I say that I don’t know, so then she asks,
Where do we go when we die? I tell her
I don’t know the answer to this either.
She looks out the side, and I look forward,
then she asks if we can have some music.
“Questions” by Joseph Mills from The Miraculous Turning. © Press 53, 2014.
Joseph Mills has degrees in literature from the University of Chicago (B.A.), the University of New Mexico (M.A.), and the University of California-Davis (Ph.D). As he was working on his third one, his mother asked, “Don’t you know that stuff yet?”