American Spirit

In the instant that it takes my lips to close

Around the stem of my lungs’ self-destruction,

I realize that I do not understand

The hopeless and despairing.

The cherry is a bright point in the dim

Cold crack of morning air in Illinois.

Leaning on the grill of this

Enormous pulling engine of the plains,

The smell of diesel hot around my ears,

The satisfied fatigue of one more load complete

Compulsing next to happiness within me...

Joy, it seems, is quite a lot like faith,

You have it or you don’t, and all your life

Is spent in seeking what you must receive.

I admit, perhaps it’s that I’m young

And not too far from binding love

That swaddled me in positive abandon,

That let me walk in certainty and space.

This is a rare and precious thing,

This union of a woman and a man

That doesn’t choose to end itself in pain,

To ripple bloody bow-waves through the lives

Of innocent, unwary little things

Who find themselves in stranger lands

Where they expected beauty,

Light, and peace.

I have been favored, I have been highly-favored,

I’ve felt the rain of all things bright

And beautiful, things poured into my lap

From such gift-givers…

Such unspeaking, sacerdotal things.

I’m hobbled by the burden of my joy

And as I said,

I do not know what it could mean

To truly be without this weight of gold.


  • Lorna

    Wow! This is are favored, highly favored........

    • themerrypapist

      Thanks, Lorna! Having you as a reader is definitely one of those favors. :)

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