Poetry Thursday: What consumes you


In my youth
I thought
I had to be dark
to be interesting

for a girl
who was lighter
than helium
than 14 Presbyterians
having high tea
at the Ritz
was problematic.

exactly true
but proves a point:
how black
or blue
can a child of privilege
with a naturally sunny
obviously buoyant
basically optimistic bent

as it turns out
is a relative thing.

You can adjust
your vision
to prisons
of every variety,
from plush-lined, air-conditioned luxe
to pits dug out
from dirt
you displace yourself
at the end of an insistent,

Or so I've heard.

I have said before:
my darkest days
took place in full daylight
surrounded by blessings
and love
and riches so bright
their shine shames me still.

And my brightest days
I spent
shedding blood
the hard way
amidst people
who were on their way out
for good.

Dark is neither glorious
nor foul
it is just the opposite
of light.

You can try it on
in your youth
to mimic the burdens of elders
and other, less fortunate souls
like children dressing for Halloween.

But not for too long
and only for play.

Dark exists always
to remind us
of the choice of light.

The sometimes hard
choice of light
that people in times
and circumstances
of such blackness
we cannot imagine
time and time

I do not dress for Halloween
nor do I pose in black.
Too much real pain
to play dress-up
unless it serves
to illuminate
or charm
or coax a laugh
from the darkness.

And so, my friend,
I say to you:
I see your darkness
and raise you a candle,
a glowstick,
a toothy grin, in a pinch.

Be dark
if you like
but remember:
the light
is always there
on the flip side
or the end of a tunnel
or what have you
when you are ready
to turn into it.


Image by Paul Stevenson via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.