These things I tell you,
you will never regret:
Love the speed of that cloud in front
of the moon and you will never take for
granted the color of a clear day.
Talk kindly to not only animals but also
to flowers and weeds.
Learn to compost.
Understand how everything effects
everything. Be humble enough
to pick up the shit of your own
friendly dog and carry it around
in a plastic bag.
Make your own silverware.
Make your own journal out of an
old book cover and cheap sewing string.
Make friends you know you will have to leave.
Pick tomatoes with bare hands
and don’t hate the rash it gives you.
Learn to love mosquitoes even if
their only redeeming quality is the
fact that they exist.
Protest against injustice.
Protest against razors.
Protest against that Great American Dream
you’ve grown up believing in.
Kneel before the flag,
leave your hat on during the Anthem.
Learn to see the beauty in the things and
people you don’t agree with.
Shut down raging Fundamentalists
with one glance but love the devotion
behind their blind hearts.
Fall in love with an unsuspecting man
and let him go.
Fall in love with mornings on your
front porch and allow yourself the patience
to be distracted by a neighbor, a bird,
a breeze. Become comfortable with practicing doubt.
Learn to rejoice in a spilled coffee, oversleeping,
a squirrel who eats your garlic.
Sow the earth with diligence and love.
Return to your birthplace, visit the living,
the dead, the houses you walked by in your youth.
Mourn and celebrate the passing of time.
Train yourself not to mind questions or anger.
Love every task. Love the work and toil
which life offers, which your body was made
to do. Love rest, but not too much.
Fall in love with life and the very gift of
existence. See the beauty in being small.
Alexis Draut is a native Kentuckian, born and raised in both Louisville and Danville, KY. She heavily associates with her sense of place, whether that be her homes in Kentucky, Georgia, Colorado or New Zealand. She became interested in poetry and creative writing at a young age, has taken classes, and participated in poetry groups as well as writing workshops. Her writing heavily revolves around her passions for social justice, gender equality, environmental preservation, spiritual curiosity, the earth, and nonviolence. Her favorite pastimes besides writing are reading, water coloring, gardening, swimming, tide pooling and listening to Brandi Carlile. While Alexis is a newly public poet, she has recently been published in Buddy. A lit zine with her piece “lost”, Jenny Mag (YSU Literary) with “Norfolk pine”, Havik Anthology with “earthquake”, and Internet Void with “spinning stars.”