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Personal Days

Wouldn’t you like to have a poem in your pocket?

For twelve years, every day, every single day has been a working day. In part because I’m self-employed; if there is work to do, it gets done regardless of the date on the calendar. I’ve taught yoga on Sundays, my birthday, New Year’s Day. On Christmas I’ve sat down to a huge plate of editing. I’ve proofread on vacation, sitting shotgun, flipping the pages as the miles roll away under the wheels of the car. The formula is simple: If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

Overneath the paying work is my other job, parenting. Mommies don’t get sick days. Even if the peeps are at school and I’m at home or it’s that rare occasion when I’m away from home without them, they’re never far from the front of my mind. It’s a full-time gig, 24/7/365. All of this work? It suits me. I am not complaining (much).

I do marvel; however, that in spite of having a round-the-clock, round-the-calendar life, weekends feel different than weekdays, holidays feel different than regularly scheduled Mondays. There is a momentum of days, even though surely some days are more productive than others.

My favorites are personal holidays. They are not like true personal days, a day off for no reason—something I once had by contract but could never remember to take when I was a college professor. Personal Holidays are a chance to celebrate in some small way an ordinary day. It might be a day made more joyful by a friendly prank, as April first was in our house this year, or it might be a day made just a little more poignant and lovely by the right words, like Poem in Your Pocket day.

Celebrated nationally (whatever that means) since 2008, the concept is simple. Put a favorite poem or a poem that you wrote in your pocket tomorrow, Thursday, April 14. Share it with friends or someone you love. Enjoy the magic that carefully crafted words can bring.

If you don’t have a favorite poem, here’s one of my (many) favorites, by former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, entitled, appropriately, “Pocket Poem.”

Pocket Poem

If this comes creased and creased again and soiled

as if I’d opened it a thousand times

to see if what I’d written here was right,

it’s all because I looked too long for you

to put it in your pocket. Midnight says

the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped

by nervous fingers. What I wanted this

to say was that I want to be so close

that when you find it, it is warm from me.


About Robin Bourjaily

I currently perform my own stunts as a mother, writer, editor, yoga instructor, and certified Yoga As Muse facilitator. Overneath It All is a medium for sharing my stories--my commitment is to post on the full and new moons, plus or minus a day or two, and the occasional personal holiday. My novel, Throwing Like a Girl, is now available in e-formats on Smashwords. Please visit to download. Thanks for checking in. xoR

4 responses »

  1. Love this, Robin!! I look forward to following you. Thanks for sharing your gift! M

  2. How fun! Thanks for posting your blog on FB. My daughter is blogging about Taco A Day for A Month, so I have two nice blogs to follow. Now that I mature enough for poetry I enjoy quite a bit of it. (I still like limericks and nursery rhymes. Do they still count?)
    I have a collection of “Poems That Speak to Me.” (The UPS Man poem is one of those.) It’s so nice to read a good writer. Thanks! j.


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