This poem got to me because of what is says, the repetition, and because there is a realtor in it.
Let me explain.
The world is bad for the most part says the poem. Yes, there are many terrible things that happen.
However, to me there is a bright side. People are generally good and trying to do good. Most people want to help, and they would if they could.
But read the poem. The realtor is mentioned near the end.
by Maggie Smith
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
This poem involves a mother and two children. There is no mention of a father.
The poet compares the terrible world with a terrible property, and puts forward a hard sale.
Good bones is realtor speak for this property has to be stripped to the studs.
Good bones, "any decent realtor." Most realtors ARE decent. Not one of them would take a mother and two children to a "shithole." Realtors know buyers can't accept distressed houses, and being pushy doesn't work. Such places may not pass the appraisal anyway.
Yes, there are people who look for terrible properties. Who? Investors. Saying to them it's got good bones would be OK. They makes rat holes beautiful, actually.