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Friday, June 6, 2008

Good Morning, Sorrow

Poetic Asides - Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 002
Writer’s Digest’s Robert Brewer
editor of Writer’s Market
(Prompt from 5/14/08)

“I want you to write a poem that deals with one or more of your own phobias. Or--if you are truly without fear--write about someone else's phobias. Or--if you and everyone you know is without fear--write about an imagined phobia (or write about my phobia of driving in inclement weather).”


First, a quote that found me this morning:

"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The self-same well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears . . . The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."

Good Morning, Sorrow

you know I can’t welcome you here
know, don’t you, how I fear you
and that bag of tools you bring
so, here you are

to scare me, to worry me,
to convince me I’ll drown
if I don’t evict you
from my darkened doorway

that has been my pattern
my best self-defense
to ignore you, push you aside
going on about my day, my life
as you scratch in the dirt
on my threshold

but today, I have
a different understanding
a different plan for handling my loss
although I cannot welcome you

I’ll close my eyes and breathe
let you do your work
digging a well to fill with my tears
I might flinch, might cry out

but chisel away, anyway
dig deep and deeper into me
and tell me what you find
I’ll just keep breathing

excavate, exhume
taunt me with your spade
until you unearth the pieces
that have chipped from
my wounded heart
buried themselves in the silt

I know eventually
you’ll carry your tools
and your unburied treasure
away of your own accord
and I’ll keep breathing

the sun will come again
shine a light deep inside me
to illuminate a cistern
full of fresh, clear joy

so, do your worst
this morning, Sorrow
I’ll be over here

TLS, 6/08

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