October 24, 2016

Reflection (Growth)

I change myself with untruths,
I tell lies about myself until they become
molds I can fit into, and the former truths
wither and wane

I drive alone past the lake, and the lanterns are
paralyzed fire reflected beneath the utter smooth,
the utter still. The night is the hills above the water, where
I drive alone through October and Octobers past

I pray for peace, I pray for something to break the peace, I pray
the Lord’s prayer a dozen times because it is not my words,
because I cannot trust my words, and breaths of prayer settle
on the windshield, let my breath be a conduit for the truth transcending me

I know beauty is reaching for things outside myself, it is
forgetting myself for a moment, it demands love because
it is outside self, and love is selfless. I embrace my hollowness, I say
my thanks for it, I ask not for fulfillment but for understanding

I park at the dam, I run across the ridge and see nothing but
a lone light settling on the water far below, falling and free.
I hear dogs barking in the trees, I retreat into my car and wish
I had stayed longer, run further

I let the radio soar over the contours of the road, ‘All things grow,
All things grow,’ and I grow a little more, a little older, I remember
looking into the swaying mirror with cider humming in my temples,
I remember seeing how lined and weathered I will be at fifty, at sixty

I drive at fifty, at sixty, at seventy, I slow, I slow,
I try to reconcile accepting myself and changing myself, I try
to reconcile anything I can, I wonder if all things are too unslowing
to ever justify leaving, forgetting, severing friendships

I drive into the fog, the radio swells, the strings crescendo,
the bells chime for lost time, ringing a tempo for the chorus
of all memory. The brass surges up a major scale, and I remember
my capacity for worship, how I want to make it a ritual without losing awe

I have been selfish, I decide to let go, but the joyful things fall away and the
lowest weights remain. I remember to look outside myself for everything that matters,
for everything to make me grow, but still I hold on, still I ache, and the radio
reminds, ‘He takes and he takes and he takes.’ 

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