by Richard Vince

His advice has stayed with me,
Like a noose around my neck that
I tighten whenever I remember.

The most important gift was
Something I so often found I could not
Give; the self sacrifice I was
Always unable to make.

This is a facet of myself that
I knew was there, like Australia,
But had never felt beneath my feet,
Had never had to live with the
Reality of before. Perhaps that is
How I forgot its existence.

It proved to be a zero sum game:
All that I borrowed from night
To fund day had to be repaid
With interest, a debt I still
Service even now. Attempts to create
Another life merely diminished
The one I had.

While my heart and mind starved,
My soul wasted away, the very essence
Of myself shrinking as I tried to fit
Into an ever smaller box.

Perseverance, self sacrifice, regret,
Self flagellation, martyrdom:
I saw them all coming, and yet
I continued to march resolutely
Towards the horizon which turned out
To be the edge of the world.

Even now, I can talk of all I gained
But not of what I lost:
The part of my soul that I left there
When I discovered Australia
But wished I hadn’t.


Posted on 12/16/2017
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by John Herzog on 12/19/17 at 07:45 PM

Oh! I have missed your poetry so. Here are dilemmas eloquently articulated, those which confront me as I come to grasp the breadth of the many years that lie in wait for me.

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