Zero Sum

by Richard Vince

It was like magic: a moth landed
On her outstretched fingers,
Entrusting delicate wings to
Her gentle hands as her eyes
Widened with wonder.

It was like most magic: an illusion,
An exercise in misdirection so
The eye does not see the obvious;
Showing beginning and end
While hiding the process.

The easiest targets are those
Willing to deceive themselves,
Desperate to believe no matter
How implausible it all is.

It is only in hindsight that
The cost is apparent: years later,
It is still being paid, long after
Any benefits ceased to be enjoyed,
Extracting a toll from another
Life, in another world, like the one
That was promised but never

Perhaps this is part of the process
Of healing, of regrowing skin to
Cover the wounds, of filling in
The cracks in a shattered soul.

At the end, it may be as though
Nothing happened: everything balanced,
Motionless, years consigned to irrelevance
As the matter and antimatter
Of joy and pain meet at last.


Posted on 06/23/2019
Copyright © 2020 Richard Vince

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