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“I reason, Earth is short…” (301) by Emily Dickinson

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And here I thought I was fighting a war, trapped inside my head all day. How everything seems microscopic when faced with the world at large.

The alert arrived at the newsroom around four in the afternoon. I got out of bed an hour later, not knowing. At six, words run in a loop on the screen. I am typing at my desk, tapping on my phone, knowing I’m not doing enough.

Asking what the world has come to is like asking why water is wet. But my chest feels heavy just the same, and the question falls from my lips all the same.

“I reason, Earth is short…” (301)
Emily Dickinson

I reason, Earth is short —
And Anguish — absolute —
And many hurt,
But, what of that?

I reason, we could die —
The best Vitality
Cannot excel Decay,
But, what of that?

I reason that in Heaven —
Somehow, it will be even —
Some new Equation, given —
But, what of that?

This is from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by Thomas H. Johnson, published by Little, Brown & Company, 1960.

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