Tuesday, March 31, 2020

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: "A Bitter Gift" (poem)

by Barry Casselman

This interruption is a bitter gift
foreshadowing another and disparate event
which will test us even more when we arrive there.

Its donor is using an alias
we cannot trace or decipher,
but we know we must be able to decode its message.

Our formalities betrayed us,
thinking a handshake was a sign of good will,
or more peace in our time, or sanctuary.

Our confinement ends the reverie
we have been sleepwalking through the cascading moments
of still another innocence to be discarded
like all those others we have left behind, and now call history.

Then we realize a delayed sense
of how much has irrevocably changed
as if we had lost our childhoods one more time.

Without the usual ceremonies, we have graduated
to another degree with highest honors in surprise,
but no diploma, no applause,
no trace of our new destination,
except for the bitter gift.

Each generation, and each person in it,
has different tools to work through this hiatus
however long it carries us to where this bitter gift
becomes transformed like a ripening.

Copyright (c) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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