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A Poem written against Despair

Posted Jun 10 2009 12:20am
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
Naomi Shihab Nye

She walked around the circular block of her neighbourhood
and saw that it was good.
She saw lawns newly cut, hedges neatly trimmed,
gardens clipped and tidy.
She saw chrysanthemums flourishing in pots, purple and gold.
She saw asters and brown-eyed Susans in abundance.

She saw three children in the playground.
One toddler, hands full of cookies, came to pat her dog.
(Maggie saw that it was good).
She saw the fresh pavement on the driveway,
where a new family had just moved in.
She saw the sumacs flaming orange and red along the
soccer field, and maples’ tips torched with the same fire.
She saw the houses, driveways and lawns,
each one more beautiful than the last.
She saw the sky was blue and the sun was warm,
and she told herself that it was good.

And that, in spite of the continuing war in Iraq,
uncommon famine in Darfur,
continued violence in Afghanistan and Sudan,
the Aids epidemic in Africa,
junkies in downtown cores and homeless children
all over the civilized world,
that to be alive, right here and now, was good.

She took a deep breath, and told herself,
Just for today, all I can do
is quiet the war inside of me,
give up the struggle in my own heart.

If just for today, one person gives up despair
and practices opening her heart to hope,
then peace in the heart will be her gift.


@ Jennifer Boire
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