P is for Poem


Yesterday's thaw and last night's chill

have left a thin skim of ice

like roots or hair running down

the sidewalk cracks.

I'm watching how I walk,

picking carefully on the way to work.

I pass a lady with a shopping cart

and a horrible wet cough,

see a wasp's nest in the branches

become a torn garbage bag,

and realize that the sun as it rises

is turning the thin ice back to water.

What a difference a degree makes,

a slight shift and winter's grip

eases. And our grip on the way things are.

I keep returning to that woman's cough,

the miseries we inflict on each other

simply becaue we don't have the strength

to stand on our own.

The small gap between fear and

compassion, and how it too is governed

by our own internal sun.

That my sun has been through a long darkness,

but that it rises again as I wake

to the wonders around me.

Ben Gallagher

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