Sunday, November 13, 2022


 The Prince and the Pea

It’s clear now I’ll have to carry this thing 

to my grave no matter how much it drags me down

How could something so small be so heavy?

I cant put it on a shelf or ask you to hold it

It has infiltrated too deep, 

caged in my chest

a stone in my shoe

a stone in my shoe 

embedded in bone.

I just know I can't let it go.

Can’t chuck it over a  cliff

without the rest of me following.

It’s a dead weight in the center of my being,

the crucial concentrated ballast,

I’m reluctant to admit,

tethering me to this poor gray world 

I feel it boring into me wherever I lie

no matter how many mattresses

I stack behind my back.

What would I do if I didn't feel it anymore?

How much distance would it take?

If I get too close 

I melt right into it

and then nothing else matters

which can be tempting 

but who would ever notice?

I want to take it out and look at it

cradle it, spend quality time with it

leave just a shell behind that smiles

and says thank you very much

says good morning says have a nice day 

shows up for work grins and bears it

tucks it away when the wind starts to gust

When I die it will be

all that remains of me

like the charred keys and rings 

and gold fillings amongst the ash 

after a house burns down

after any small genocide  

I’ll be gone before

I realize it holds

everything worth counting

that I was merely the empty 

space in which it chose to exist 

When you find yourself in 

a situation like this 

one of two things happens:

It either expands into an entire universe

more joyously real than anything you thought you deserved 

or, thwarted, it collapses unused 

into an infinite density

that the afflicted must carry

that the afflicted must carry

one foot in front of the other 

step after agonizing step


1 comment:

Oldfoolrn said...

Just returning after a total knee replacement with complications. You haven't lost your touch. Your poetry is one of my all-time favorite escapes!