Thursday, January 12, 2017

Enduring the Best



author's note:

Once again, I try to get this poem right.


ENDURING THE BEST

After you, I realized:

we must endure
not only the worst
among us, but also
the best.

Both overwhelm us--
both challenge us
to rise above.

Yes, one tries to darken our eyes
while the other tries to enlighten

but brilliant light can stun

and with sight
comes responsibility:

when I try to ignore
what I now know
I feel guilty

especially when I sense
your old owl eyes watching me
from a place unseen
(located somewhere
 over my left shoulder).

Yes I'm pleased
you take an interest
I just wish you’d encourage me
occasionally

when doubt
agitates my thought
almost to blindness--

reassure me
with a spirit whisper:

tell me again
why I must not slack
in this work--
tell me again
how it helps us all.

Tell me
to keep on lifting
my leaden feet--
tell me I can find
the strength hidden within
--but only if I try to lift.

Please, tell me
I will eventually
hold the peace
that always seems to slip
from my grip.

Tell me
all you once told me--
tell me again...

I wait...
but again: only silence

yet I don't feel rejected--
after all
why should you remind me
when I haven't forgotten?--

besides that
a repeat would merely be
temporary comfort--
not a cure:

no one but me can give me courage.

As my moment of weakness passes
I feel ashamed once again
but also think:

maybe later
I can use this moment
as a story lesson

later...
when I become someone
others will gladly endure.



© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Butterfly Soul: poems of death & grief & joy

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