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SOMETHING OPENS OUR WINGS














Imperative


Something opens our wings.

—Rumi

First isolated in a South Carolina ICU,

later confined in a second story

bedroom, Spanish moss swaying

outside my window, I didn’t want to return


to the streets after I got well, content

to be cordoned off from everything beyond

double-paned glass, a carnival of barkers

opening doors for cheap peeks at salvation


from boredom, infirmity, anxiety, aging,

wrinkles, fat, hemorrhoids, erectile dysfunction,

sidewalks bustling with preachers of death

preaching eternal life, the endless blasphemies


of grinning true believers saying “you’re only

as old as you feel,” sharkskinned politicians

ushering angry followers into a funereal

allegiance with an earthly tyrant and trickster.


So more than two years later I forgive myself

the yearning for an airless asylum behind

the walls of that sweet blue cottage, mind

rotting on television re-runs, old music,


wallowing in self-exterminating memory until

out of nowhere—or at least somewhere

unknowable—maybe the whisper of moss

swaying in live oaks, I felt myself summoned


out of my sickbed, trudging down steps, hand

on the doorknob, stepping from shadows

into blinding sunlight for no earthly reason

other than having survived a plague,


you get to know that each day is not a gift,

as the faithless love to say, but a commandment

to show up, no matter what, the bittersweet

wind in your face everywhere you turn.


—SL, Oct. 2023, New Paltz, NY




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12 Comments


marilyn.bardo
Oct 29, 2023

To show up is to feel alive.

Another wonderful poem expressing on paper thoughts that so many of us are feeling.

Thank you!

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write4hire
Oct 29, 2023
Replying to

Thank you so much, Marilyn.

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write4hire
Oct 16, 2023

Thank you thank you thank you, Mourka!

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margarita meyendorff
margarita meyendorff
Oct 16, 2023

Thank you for showing up, Steve. Beautiful, honest poetry. Andrew Wyeth is perfect here as is the blue beautiful house.. Mourka

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chompsky79
Oct 14, 2023

Thou shall show up. yes!

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write4hire
Oct 16, 2023
Replying to

Yes, ma'am!

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skiwaves
Oct 14, 2023

What so many of us have trouble expressing, you do so well.

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write4hire
Oct 16, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, Michael. My aim is to some day be as good a writer as you are a photographer.

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