9.30.2016

Shasta


        “If you run now, without a moment’s rest…” 
         – C.S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy

There are times I feel like Shasta 
on that precipice of the mind, at the line 
between impossibility and
life, just the way it is,
unyielding days with all their demands
and nights too short for rest. It’s a line you either 
leap across or curl up behind to lose yourself 
in dreaming.

Either plant your feet and claim some just reward
or open your hands to take the next day as it’s
laid down like lead bricks
into your palms. 

Cover your face, or look out at the wilderness before you,
newly weary through the old ache,
as your shoulders bear down under the cold press of rain, 
and the hounds ahead string their mournful voices
back along the wind. Hurry, hurry, hurry.

There are times I let the unfairness curdle under 
my breath, and I choke on bitterness
for hours on end.
There are times I hold my hands out again and again
and wonder how a day hasn’t yet slipped
through my fingers and shattered.

Some weeks I don’t know what keeps my heart beating.
I know the rhythm of the sunlight isn’t enough. 

Every now and then, the faint clamor in the distance
shapes itself almost into a hope. (maybe a lion’s heart, 
maybe a father’s sparkling eyes, maybe a birthright restored)
Mostly the call is the same. 

Straight ahead, they cry. Over level or steep,
over smooth or rough, over dry or wet.
Run, run: 
always run.

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