13 Reasons Why Not – by Jill Talbot

1. Because pain doesn’t last forever
2. Because you don’t get to see your revenge play out when you’re dead
3. Because it’s about time we had some role models who kept fighting
4. Because you saw turkeys eating apples and it looked like soccer
5. Because women have been warriors for centuries
6. Because you have more female than male ancestors
7. Because they put Plath’s name on oven mitts
8. Because despite what YouTube says, nobody knows what it feels like to die
9. Because the fall leaves look like the world is changing
10. Because the world is changing
11. Because you won’t get to see someone make a “Law and Order: Special Poets Unit” parody
12. Because you won’t get to hold a hand and actually want to
13. Because 13 wasn’t enough, you could keep going
14. Because you can keep going

Jill Talbot‘s writing has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review, The Cardiff Review, PRISM, Southword, and others. Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.

Photographer’s Note: After deep heartache and contemplation, the speaker in this poem pensively writes down the reasons NOT to surrender to self-destruction. Through this cathartic process, there is strength, determination, hope, and the will to keep going. I’m pairing this poem with a photo of a new magnolia bud after the tree had weathered a late winter storm, a second heavy frost, high winds and pounding rain. Although it was beaten down and weary, it never gave up. It persevered and blossomed again, much like I feel the speaker in the poem suggests.