End-of-Day Discussion

A Poem by James B. Nicola

It doesn’t really matter what you did
today, what great infraction, what small sin.
What’s more important is that it has gotten
you to now and soon to all tomorrows.

Nor does it matter what I’m doing now,
talking to you about it. Some tomorrow,
all will be forgotten. Really. That’s
the way it is, and is supposed to be.

Don’t get me wrong: it matters, but what matters
even more is that in time, it won’t.

What really matters is what you shall do
next year, or even twenty years from now.

When I’m long gone and equally forgotten.

James B. Nicola is the author of five collections of poetry: Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018), and Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond (2019). His decades of working in the theater as a stage director, composer, lyricist, playwright, and acting teacher culminated in the nonfiction book Playing the Audience: The Practical Guide to Live Performance, which won a Choice award. A Yale grad, he hosts the Hell’s Kitchen International Writers’ Roundtable at his library branch in Manhattan: walk-ins welcome.

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