I was filled with longing
for joyful permanent fixations, and insight,
for play and a secular individualism,
a spiritual life and some unnameable
opportunity like a right I vaguely
remembered and couldn't get purchase on.
It was no good.
It took me years and one mistake
after another to realize this
and even then I simply got washed out,
I didn't really learn a lesson.
I know it's not so much the mistakes
not the divisions, or cultural impediments,
the threats and isolation techniques
we run on each other
it's the heart.
My father went to his grave unchanged.
So did Poe.
And beautiful Anna Karenina.
And Ovid. Consuela Concepcion, too, my piano teacher.
They say in the end
Mussolini was so terrified his mind seized and he couldn't speak.
He sat there swelled-up and bug-eyed. This is not it.
Or anyone drowning or
lurching from the fire shrieking he didn't want this to happen.
There is so much gibberish. And imprecision.
No wonder we lock in.
Like you, I get scared.
I used to go to my friend's house,
sink into the old sofa on his back porch
and read all day. His family
and the ducks and dogs would pass by, let me be - discreet love- I'd feel safe
Source: "Honesty" - see http://www.nortonpoets.com/ex/smithcheroin.htm
Contributed by: Anna