Only in the Releasing
The chain hangs on the wall, just a sprig of it,
old, rusty, a reminder of a time, long ago
when expanses of the forged links held you tight,
shiny and bright, a beautiful bond you clung to
even as you wasted away, starved of the air, starved
of the effluence of emotion that fed you
in the outgoing, becoming instead a creature
of practicality, of effectiveness, no markings
on your coat to say otherwise.
You broke those bonds.
Or rather they were broken for you,
tossed aside, your usefulness over,
you were dropped in the wilderness where things die.
But you did not. For a time you were a blind Moses,
your own failures condemning you to the desert,
dragging the almost fatal chains behind you
as if their familiarity had the power to save you.
They did not of course. It was only in the releasing
you were saved. Dropping the iron bonds one by one
to be covered in sand, covered in history
as you learned to dance in the desert, as you learned,
once again, who you were, learned more importantly,
who you could become, and how the broken parts of you
made you stronger.
The short sprig of chain hangs on the barn wall.
It is rusted. Pitted. Its strength is gone.
It is connected to nothing, emprisons nothing,
a museum piece, not of what you survived,
but the journey.
About this poem.
Failure is not always fatal. Sometimes it is what allows us to finally, fly.
The picture was taken at the Rogers Store Museum in Carsley, Virginia.