What I'm Meant to Do
Linger in hardware stores --
among the male and female
electrical plugs -- unfold
a napkin in my lap -- as the plate
is presented before me --
smoke a Cuban cigar --
that makes me dizzy -- take
the bus to the end of the line --
only to find -- it's not far enough --
sit in front of Rembrandt's Lucretia --
until I am that Lucretia --
inhabiting her sorrow -- fall
asleep in the comfortable chair --
the little volume open -- the last
words entering my dream --
speak -- for the insignificant
memory -- the one we all know --
the light in early spring -- the way
the child we were comes back --
goes to the dentist to personally
cancel the appointment -- then --
that sense of endless possibility --
you know -- that luxuriant -- wasteful
sense -- of possibility -- in spring --
Sun Yung Shin (Skirt Full of Black), the juror who selected Nolan's poem, writes: "I have chosen What I'm Meant to Do because the rhythm and the linkage of images kept me interested."
About the poet: Tim Nolan lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Kate, and three teenagers, Elizabeth, Maeve, and Frank. Tim works as a lawyer at the McGrann Shea law firm in Minneapolis. His poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, Poetry East, and many other magazines. Garrison Keillor has read Tim's poems on The Writer's Almanac. His first book of poems, The Sound of It, was published by New Rivers Press in 2008, and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in poetry.
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