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Some Things to Think About
Louis Jenkins


How cold is it? Will you need to wear your long
johns or will the heavy wool pants over your
blue jeans be enough? Which socks? Which
boots? Which jacket? Scarf? Do you need the
choppers with wool liners or just gloves? How
fast will you be moving? If you are skiing or, God
forbid, going to the mall, will you be too warm?
Which direction is the wind from? Is it better to
walk into the wind on your way out and have it
at your back on the return, or vise-versa? Do
you have a choice? Will the car start? Do you
have blankets, fire extinguisher, flares, window
scraper, extra gasoline, gas-line antifreeze,
starting fluid, lock deicer, windshield washer
fluid, a shovel, fresh water, flashlight, matches,
candy bars? Do you have enough Kleenex? Ask
yourself what you have forgotten. Do not ask
yourself why or how. Remember to take your
car keys out of your pocket before you put on
your gloves.


From Before You Know It (Will o' the Wisp Books, 2009).
Used with permission.




Louis Jenkins (1942 - 2019) was a native of Oklahoma, but lived in Duluth, Minnesota, for 40+ years. The state's natural beauty was a constant source of inspiration for his work, which was often humorous and always thought-provoking. Considered a master of prose poetry, Louis authored sixteen books and was featured in numerous anthologies. He claimed that pleasure, clarity, and empathy are among the most essential characteristics of a poem.





Post New Comment:
Jayne, I didn�t know he had died. His poetry has always hit a chord with me. We are lucky to have his words. Thank you for posting his poem. Please give us more of Louis Jenkins.
Posted 01/20/2020 10:15 PM
We were 'poetry buddies'. I found him to be generous, funny and kind. This poem is a wonderful example of his work. He will be missed.
Posted 01/20/2020 06:13 PM
How complicated our small lives are!
Posted 01/20/2020 06:11 PM
Perfect poem for 32 degrees in Rydal, GA.
Posted 01/20/2020 03:40 PM
I still have his hand-written letter of acceptance for "Steelhead 3" from 1973--filled with some very helpful advice for the 17 year old poet from the north woods. Thanks, Louis.
Posted 01/20/2020 11:47 AM
I will think about these things before I go out today.
Posted 01/20/2020 09:15 AM
Larry Schug:
As far as I'm concerned--Saint Louis Jenkins! You could do no wrong. Thank goodness you left your words behind for us to enjoy.
Posted 01/20/2020 08:16 AM
Things we think about daily take on a special significance here. Important details, and yet simple. "Remember to take your car keys out of your pocket before you put on your gloves" love that line! .
Posted 01/20/2020 05:15 AM

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