The Trick to Living by William Joel

There is no trick to living. Simply
work your ass off trying not to die.
And if you do you’ll find there’s little time
for taking in the sites, or playing
games of chance, like seeing who
can drink the most before their liver
ceases doing what it does. Or smoking
till their lungs congeal with tar. The more
you try to live, the less you’ll ever
need to drop that word into your speech,
the one that Mommy told you
not to use, then turned around
and used it speaking of the man
who ran the corner store, the man
whose accent almost made you laugh,
until a random thief sent bullets searing
through his shoulder just because
the man took too long opening
the money drawer. Perhaps
he wasn’t trying hard enough to live.

© 2016 William Joel


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William J. Joel has been a poet, storyteller and educator for many, many years. Most recently, his work has been accepted for publication in Chronogram, Aunt Chloe and Wolf Moon Journal. In addition to adult poetry, he has written works for children. Since 2008, he has been Contributing Editor for three issues of Appleseeds.


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