“Obligation is a rainy word,
out of date and dowdy and austere
as “duty,” unexpectedly severe,
and hardly ever, these past decades, heard
unless after the fact, to glue a label
on what preceded. Late, the realization:
do what you have to. Choice is not an option.
With little room, you cope as you are able.
That little room, that wiggle room, allows
at least a nod or headshake. Yes or no:
landscapes you discover as you go,
prairie, valley, swamp, a stand of trees
Where darkness yields surprisingly to dawn
In the mind’s sky a hundred times a day.
Morning and evening, the old Q and A.
What should I wear? Oh, obligation.
Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas
Wiggle Room by Rachel Hadas