Choices, Growing Up, Letting Go, Poetry, prayer, Relationships

Turn In the Direction of the Sun and Keep Walking

cavern_DSilva

Pray for her happiness.
Not for her to get right
repent
see the light.
Not for her to fall at last
to her unscarred knees.
Pray instead for her actual
unconditional
pure
and utter
happiness.

Yes, her.
The one whose suffering has yet to surface
let alone mushroom
as yours has,
shins and scalp and palms
flayed from scrambling
out of the craters her fumbled explosives
blew into your path.
You couldn’t go around, not then.
Until the moment you could
and so you veered a hundred meters
then a hundred thousand
leaving behind her burnt earth
to weave a new course, a steadier one.

But something stuck. Under the skin, between the teeth.
Shrapnel. A piece of your own torn flesh
that also tasted
of her.
You tried to spit it out
but bitter,
it festered.

If only she showed remorse
repented
paid.
If only she stung with shame.
Just a little.

Balance is a street corner
shell game.
She profited from the shattered earth, from the shards
you picked from your sores.
She smiles like an angel
even now.
Blameless as a beam of light.

You, chewing on that putrid scrap.
Scraping open the tongue, the roof of the mouth.
I can’t forgive her, you say.

It’s true, you can’t.
Forgiveness isn’t yours to give.
And anyway, she hasn’t asked.

Let go of justice, a righteous god,
punishment
and recompense.

Your call,
unwelcome
unsatisfying
wholly unavoidable
is mercy.

Ask for for her happiness.
Full stop.
Only this one thing.

No one wins here, it’s true,
just as no one loses.
Not her and
finally
not you.


This poem’s title comes from a line in the Joy Harjo poem, “This Morning I Pray for My Enemies”

1 thought on “Turn In the Direction of the Sun and Keep Walking”

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