1. Losing what I wanted.
I sat close to flames,
So I hugged them.
Icy air makes you do
Foolish things–like wipe
Snot from your nose
With your glove and then
Shake hands with a stranger.
There’s nothing divine about punishment–
Whether pestilence, scourging or broken promises.
2. Gaining what I needed.
I thought I had enough friends,
But friendship is where love resides–
Unconditional, not a straw hut
Built from strands of obligation.
When one door closes, it usually locks.
I burned my battering ram in the fire
Mentioned in this poem’s first stanza,
And I don’t have the patience to pick locks.
Instead, I head over to the next house,
See if that door is open. If so, I’ll enter.
If not–well, let’s say that I’m used
To wandering streets alone and sleeping
Under a starlight blanket. Resilience
Cannot be taught; it can only be learned.
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen