Thank you for visiting. Difficult River is a collection of original poetry created by Martin A. Bartels. Constructive critique and comments are welcome. All work is copyrighted. Thanks to the great folks at 'Verse Wisconsin,' 'Poetry24,' the 'Found Poetry Review,' and 'The Rumpus' for publishing my work, and to everyone who has offered support and encouragement.
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)