Morning Despair

This is my poem for the second week of 2011 -

The dictionary defines despair this way: gloom, disheartenment. Despair, desperation, despondency, discouragement, and hopelessness refer to a state of mind caused by circumstances that seem too much to cope with.

Even optimists suffer the pangs of despair. Despite our best efforts we can be overwhelmed at the trials and tribulations of everyday troubles. The bills, the kids, the ex, the job, the lack of vacations, the lack of romance, too much laundry, or dishes, or chores in general, the sense of being under appreciated, the feeling of being inadequate to the tasks at hand - all of this can add up to a weight that bows even the broadest back.

So shoot me, I'm only human. I get down, just like everyone else. Unlike everyone else I write a poem about it. And here you go.

You know, strength is not conquering nations - true strength is in punching the damnable clock, day after day after day.


With eyes as used as spent bullet casings
he glares at her in unseen and silent reproach
unable to voice his bitter protests
lest her pain overwhelm her once more.
Tenderness for her rides his anger -
a cowpoke busting a maddened bronco
until his rage is spent and tamed.

Anguish coats his throat
holding back barbs and retorts,
damming them, and damning him
to a continued existence he hates -
another day of desperate duty
another night of marital distance -
then he must rise once more
and trudge off through bitter cold
and unfullfilled dreams
until he cracks, or caves, or dies.

He laces his boots tightly
strangling his ankles in silent metaphor
all too aware of the path he has taken,
mistakes he has made, choices unchosen.
The long road behind him from a place
where screams go unheard,
the rocks and potholes ahead
showing both a one-way sign
and a dead end.

Yet more than his weariness,
more than his concerns over material things,
and even more than his distrust of Fate
what guides his actions is the love he feels
every time she looks at him
and the icy grip around his heart
melts away a little bit more.
For this and this alone,
he pushes his way out into the world once more
trusting in Love to bring him home.

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