Saturday, May 31, 2008


They’ll let you down, people will,
even those who never should,
the ones you trust the most, until
they measure out the wormwood.

They’ll break your heart, break the shards,
grind the detritus to dust;
they’ll leave you nothing but your scars,
but you’ll go on, because you must.

Inch by bitter inch, you’ll heal.
Dawn will break; you’ll smile a smile
tempered by your long ordeal.
This may, however, take awhile.

Then they’ll have another go,
which won’t be easier, of course,
nor will it help you much to know
that each succeeding wound is worse.

But put away your violin.
Just remember all this pain
when it’s you bares the bodkin,
as you will. It’s preordained:

family, loves, friendships die,
without exception, each and all;
our quintessential human ties
are ticked out by time’s pawl,

as if betrayal, conflict, change,
neglect, and error wouldn’t doom
the frail connections we arrange
to help us gallop to the tomb.

No, you can’t slow the pace;
nor is there anything to do
except to stare it in the face,
live as though it weren’t true.