Recrimination

I could dredge up every wrong and each intentioned slight
to catalog the way the world has hurt me, or just might
and in that laundry list of ills imagined, or in fact,
find solace in a victim’s role to explain what I lack.
But if I fail to count as well the angry words I spoke,
the thoughtless little things I’ve done, the sarcasm and jokes,
then I have not been truthful, nor have I learned much at all;
just made excuses for myself to built a higher wall
throwing all blame for what I am beyond it, out of sight,
and with it, any hope of balance or setting things right.

Because although the world is hard and seems sometimes just pain,
there is no one at fault but me despite my sad refrain
that evil forces hold me back and do not let me grow.
Believing that is one thing, but it does not make it so.
And every time I point a finger to some separate cause,
or seek to change the world without first fixing my own flaws
there is no revolution, no epiphany or grace,
but only more confusion in my mirror’s tear-stained face.
Sure, my environment is part of who and what I am;
but unless I accept my flaws and start to give a damn
about the way that I feed into what destroys and kills
there is no way to move beyond what I perceive as ills.

They say that truth’s a pathless land, that each of us, alone
and naked, must confront our fears ere they be overthrown.
Well, honesty’s a two-edged sword with not much of a hilt;
disuse will turn its blade to rust before much blood is spilt.
Each cut made in another’s flesh will crease the wielder’s hand,
and only with much practice can the user understand
that truth, like revolution, starts with small, un-noticed nicks —
in private; and in spite of one’s brave public politics.

04 MAR 2005

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