On the Eve of 2001

    I wanted to write a poem to celebrate
    this beginning time - new hour, new day,
    new year, new century, new millennium
    but my mind kept circling around, like
    a deranged sestina gone out of order.
    How can I make any sense of tomorrow

    when I don't even understand today? Tomorrow
    is alive with power, ripe for celebration -
    if only I can find the unfolding order
    of my days,
    seeing them opening like
    roses into this new millennium.

    Why does it matter - it does you know - how we count millennia?
    Or days? When we peer into the crystal ball at tomorrow,
    what do we expect to see revealed? I'd like
    to know what to celebrate
    well in advance. I'd like guarantees for all my days,
    guarantees that the new order

    will be worth living for, that old Dis's order
    will not follow us into the new millennium.
    So. Will I get it, this promise, or will my days
    continue helter-skelter, surprising me tomorrow
    with things to mourn and unforeseen joys to celebrate?
    I want to *know* today. I would really like

    to have a guarantee. I said that before, but did you, like,
    hear me, god/dess? I don't think you're listening as you set the order.
    I think you're laughing. At me. Asking me to celebrate
    an unknown millennium
    when you won't even make me promises about tomorrow.
    The opening dawn of a cloudy day

    brings us to the same old story. This day, as every day
    we must yet again decide upon our path. Make choices. Dear reader, you'd like,
    as I would, a promise for tomorrow -
    would you not? How about this, then? It will come in order.
    It will, as expected, bring a new millennium,
    and we can make of it what we will. Can this be celebrated?

    Each day brings an order,
    self-created, unexpected, like a new millennium -
    tomorrow and tomorrow, a time to celebrate.

Copyright © 2001 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Your comments will be read with interest.