No Retreat, No Surrender


I won’t tell anyone.

How your mind reaches for 2 pm and you feel relief you’ve survived another day, how you know moments before, glance at the clock, and it’s always just near, allowing you to retreat, and file.

You were kind to me once, in a thistle-bodied way, aggravated yet demonstrative, clutching and pushing away, teaching me the gray area because I was stupidly naïve and accepted a black and white world. You knew there was no black, no white, just slate, crumbling and leaching.

I won’t tell anyone.

Of your talk of alcohol and pills, on how a warm bath speeds the slowing, how sleep comes and life does not.

But I will speak of spring, the golden narcissus, forsythia, how the sun peaks higher, how the days grow warmer, how the music of birds rises with dawn, how it all passes far too soon without our aid. I will tell you that in all of the sadness, there is kindness and hope and gentle sun-drenched breezes and people who walk instead of run, who smile, who take your hand and wish you joy. Even when prickly, you made me believe in this world; now it’s your turn to believe in it as well.

end 12/26/2016

S. Darlington

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