Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Everything of You

Though it is very difficult to imagine, 
that you might not have all of this, 
one day it may be gone, 
the everything of you. 

That is, if you count your self among the 
things you possess and that possess you, 
if you measure worth by value instead of
action, if you allow your comfortable fictions

to become the definition of you, they will 
almost certainly one day fail you. Do not
feel guilt for what you have and what you hold,
do not fear for its loss, but best be prepared 

and get to know the other you, get to know it 
well. Know the self you will be when the hunger 
and the thirst and the fear of open night take you, 
when you must make the impossible choice 

with your last dollar or dime or penny, know the 
gnawing doubt of when the next check will arrive 
and the impotent fury at how much of it remains 
after the fees of poverty and desperation are imposed. 

Know the you that wanders empty of heart and
frightened mind, through street or field or desert 
seemingly abandoned by God, so you are certain 
that this must be where you finally belong. 

And then know the you that takes the next step, 
and the next. Though it is very difficult to 
imagine, the nothing of you, you might.
And that is, after all, the miracle of you.

--Martin A. Bartels (working draft)
(Author's note may be found under comments)

1 comment:

  1. I am beginning to explore how to better use my poetry and my experiences as vehicles to raise awareness and effect change without preaching. Let me know what you think, as I'd like to try not to be heavy-handed or maudlin.