I don’t mean to brag
I can’t help but feel how much better
the world would be if only
everyone followed my example.
I biked from 72nd and Burnside down to Portland’s Willamette River,
over the Morrison Bridge and to my daughter’s downtown office.
And thus, subtracted vital carbon emissions
from the too-high quotient of our energy equation.
I passed by the elevator and walked up the two flights to her office.
We lunched at the Lebanese restaurant, with their ceramic plates
and glasses easy to wash
instead of the tempting Street Food vendors
with their paper and plastic take-out.
I bought used books at Powell’s and refused the bag,
tucking them into my backpack.
72-plus-gas-guzzling-free blocks awaited me for the return trip
and I needed fuel.
And so—pay attention here— at a not-to-be-named store,
I ordered iced coffee.
No straw with accompanying paper wrapper.
Some Half-and-Half, but no swizzle stick.
Just swirl the cup around.
It works fine.
(Still I would have to throw away a plastic cup.
And though the ice was light, we are in a drought.
It’s a work-in-progress.)
I sat outside, in natural light,
slowly sipping no-straw-no-lid-light-ice coffee, while reading a Billy Collins
poetry book and thinking
“I should write a poem like him.”