Grief Bearer

What can you tell me of the body's
myriad exhaustions, the effort 

it takes to wear its wounds
without complaint, as though 

it were the lightest of garments?
Father, once you told me the way

through thickets of misfortune
is to step on a thorn with one 

foot only, so the other can reach 
towards a medallion of moss.

But at the end of the day I wish to be 
the vessel that gratefully accepts  

whatever small balm of oil or water 
is left over, instead of a whetstone 

against which others come to sharpen 
the blade of their own unending sorrow.


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