Poem: Inappropriately Optimistic


Inappropriately Optimistic

You can’t fool me. I am old enough to know
that seasons come and go.
I have survived them all, the glorious and gory.
my blood and tears have fed the earth,
and I have danced on the graves of ancestors and betrayers.
I have watched my nearly dead body from above
and I have wallowed in warm sand with sun on my skin.

I have survived them all,
and so this little pittance you throw at me,
a spot of bad weather in the long list of years,
this raunchy dangerous time, will pass.
I know this now. It is the benefit of grey hair
and wrinkled skin, of having lived in deep graves
and climbed out more than once.

So snow away.
Cover the remains of green grass.
Strip my trees of leaves and blow cold from the mountain.
It will pass.
So pardon me if I don’t wring my hands.
If I have the gall to laugh at the latest disaster,
inappropriately optimistic.
You can’t fool me.

About this poem. 

When you become a pastor in the Methodist Church, you have to go through a barrage of psychological tests. I came out fine except what they called an “inappropriate optimism.” A dangerous thing, they told me, making me subject to disappointment and damage.

Oh well. I’m sixty-three. I have people to love and people who love me. The rest will pass. In fact, a lot of it already has.


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