I don’t know why I think things will get better.
I’m always holding on to flimsy hope.
I’ve held it since I was a young go-getter
before the downward slope.

Is wishful thinking printed on our genes?
Before we crawl, has nature made it so?
To want things right by any and all means?
I don’t presume to know.

Or did my mother give this curse to me?
No turn I did was ever good enough.
She’d say, and this is not hyperbole,
“You’re made of better stuff.”

Or was it God that stamped it on my soul
and left me unfulfilled and wanting more?
There is a place where I can never stroll,
on Eden’s ancient floor.

A few more days in bed; it won’t be long.
To shroud the hospice’s incessant hum
I’ll raise the volume on Sinatra’s song,
The Best Is Yet To Come.”



Geoffrey Smagacz writes from South Carolina and Mexico. A collection of his fiction, published under the title of A Waste of Shame and Other Sad Tales of the Appalachian Foothills (Wiseblood Books, 2013), won the 2014 Independent Publisher gold medal for Best Mid-Atlantic Regional Fiction. His rhymed and metered poetry has also been published in various literary magazines and e-zines, including 14 by 14 and Dappled Things. 

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10 Responses

  1. Damian Robin

    Was it rosie glasses or Rosé
    That flushed you future feelings out this way
    To scrape the bottom of each bleak abysm
    With the vibrant torch of optimism?

    Or should I face a dripping yellow yoke
    And take your words as not a turn-round joke?
    Yes I will take my just deserts and wish
    Straightforward afters from your finer dish.

    Thanks Geoffrey

      • Damian Robin

        Thanks mr S, yes, mine own — however it is asking a question. I glean from your replies to others’ comments below that the poem’s pitch is a marvelously positive, though indirect, call to go forward with good feeling. Let’s walk in parallel :^) — and as Sally hopes below, I also hope you will strut your positive (or otherwise, but well said) paces on these pages … V Best

  2. sally cook

    Your poem is excellent ! It has shades and shadow, and yet your real self comes through, Frank Sinatra by your side. You seem to have the kind of mind that is always searching — I hope you always will. Be sure to come to the site again — I will be watching for you.

  3. Cynthia Erlandson

    I really like this. It expresses the universal truth that we humans want to be optimistic and hopeful — yet also, by its mood, it somehow avoids being unrealistic about things (especially in the final verse). We all long (consciously or unconsciously) for Eden. I think the trimeters that finish each verse contribute a lot to the mood, perhaps by changing the reader’s expectation. I agree with Sally — send us more!

  4. Peter Hartley

    Geoffrey – as a born pessimist I can admire the optimism you display in this little verse. It flows well and I, like Cynthia above, think that the unexpected trimeter, in altering the pace, adds very much interest to the rhythm of the whole.

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Geoffrey, from the title to the closing line this poem had me hooked. I too like the surprise of the trimeter, but, more than that, the surprise of the closing stanza lifted my heart and brought tears to my eyes… to maintain the remarkable optimism of your poet persona is now a personal goal. Thank you for this beautiful poem.


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