the hardest thing

when i think about the hardest things
i’ve ever tried to do
i must admit to going straight
to things I never even had to learn

like whitewater rafting
on the upper gauley river
five class five rapids
and a hundred waves of fear
washing through my depths

or zip lining in costa rica
launched from peak to peak
hundreds of feet
above a lush and ravishing valley floor
at which i could scarcely bear to peek
since i was so busy
trying to hold
my guts inside my body

but scary
(or even terrifying)
is not the same as hard
and those were things
that i could simply show up
and do
with no real effort at all

but one time i spent five years
studying how to be
an employable human being
at the same time i was learning
how to be a decent one

another time i tried to grasp
how a group of very different people
might come together
and stay together
and make things better
for themselves and others
in community

i’m still working on that one
and i think i may flunk out

(i might be flunking out on all these things
actually)

and then there was that lifetime
when i tried to learn
how to love people

i’m really glad
(i really hope)
there’s still some time
before they pass out
grades

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