Poem: The Last Shall Be First

The Last Shall Be First

Perhaps it is too late in the day for worship,
for prayer, for contemplation.
Your mind has been stretched and pulled
and torn too often to peacefully capture feelings
and lay then down as words
like a lover in the morning. It is hard
to focus. By day’s end, you are too full
of logic and reality to suffer splendid thoughts
or wallow in pain or history. There’s not enough
of you left for that nonsense. All you want
is to sit and watch the sun fall, less able to enjoy the beauty
than profess the cold creeping into your bones.
But then, it IS January, almost February,
and more sensible men are in their homes,
warmed by fires and suppers and watching the last
of football. But even in the morning,
when emotions and words flow
like creeks in the spring, there is something off in you,
something too amazed at how kind life is,
even when the path has been jagged and angry
and full of animosity and confusion.
None of that matters. Not now. Not for a long time.
You have been content to wait for the best things
to circle back around and pick you up
on the return journey,
to come again after your surrender
and shine that last unexpected, warm
ray of sun, so bright it blinds,
and the tears you cry
are tears of joy.

About this poem.

So much of what I have lost in life has come back to me, as unexpectedly as the losing, and twice as joyfully as the first time.

I rarely write in the evenings because mostly the days beat the snot out of my emotions.

The title is taken from the bible but in an entirely different context. Fortunately, I believe God is a forgiving God and will forgive his child using his line as he struggles to write verse. The base word for “inspiration” after all, comes from the phrase “God-Breathed.”

The picture was taken from my backyard. That tree captures the sun night after night and it is incredibly, predictably, beautiful.

Tom

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