Mondays in a life insurance call center is what we may all refer to as “hell.” Just so you know. Today was beautiful even amid that chaos, though, thanks to a poem my friend Stephen passed along to me yesterday. I considered keeping this to myself a while longer…but in pondering the past year and what it’s looked like, the patchwork in this poem by Micheal O’Siadhail strikes stunningly, and ever so gently, to the heart.

(Do take several moments to savor this in some quiet…it’s lovely and, oh, so true.)

Youth
Micheal O’Siadhail

Break boyhood’s taboo,
step on every line
to crack a devil’s cup.
Hurts turn to arrogance.
We’re naked and brazen
under the skies.

Our gods can wait.
No need to hurry.
Old wisdoms painfully unfold;
sooner or later
will we return, fumbling
from clue to clue?

Amazing how the gods
will choose to gamble,
hanging our destinies
on such flimsy plots
we stumble on a trail,
children on a paper chase.

Gestures, even intonations,
quirks of our childhood
heroes, once imitated
now become our own,
we stich together
a patchwork of self.

Maybe some hints,
prompts from deities:
a word of praise,
spin-offs from mistakes,
strangers we met,
women who chose us.

Hearing the jazz of chance
we advance, making
headway by detour,
In such journeys subsist
the working of our karma,
the whirling of our stars.

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