the healing muse

Volume 7, 2007

Erosion

Bruce Bennett

We see them going, and we let them go.
A word, a glance, a wave; but that is all.
It's time for them to leave us, and we know.

We gather, smile, shake our heads; bestow
a murmured blessing on what must befall.
We see them going, and we let them go.

We've seen the process: how the steady slow
erosion takes them. Seconds seem to crawl.
It's time for them to leave us, and we know

There's nothing, no one, that can halt that flow,
beckon them back, reverse things with a call:
we see them going, and we let them go,

Telling our hearts this oldest tale of woe,
wrapping that grief in comfort, like a shawl.
It's time for them to leave us and we know

Our time is coming too, and we must show
how we receive what happens to us all.
We see them going, and we let them go.
It's time for us to leave them, and we know.

 

To Someone Who Asked Me After a Poetry Reading How To "Make It" in Poetry

Bruce Bennett

I should have told you, "There's no easy way.
You just persist, and do it on your own."
I failed you, though; I didn't know what to say.

You waited, eager-eyed; you clearly stay
hungry for gleanings, desperate to be shown.
I should have told you, "There's no easy way.

You write and write and write, and then one day—
or not—you gather fruit from what you've sown."
Some such old saw. I didn't know what to say,

Because I don't. You struggle, and you pray,
and give it all you've got, and work alone,
and learn quite early there's no easy way

And maybe none at all, but that's okay,
because it's what you choose, and it's the on-
ly thing you want to do. What can one say?

You have this one compulsion. You obey.
You roll your rock. It rolls back down. You groan.
I should have told you, "There's no easy way."
I failed you, though; I didn't know what to say.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 7, 2007.

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