You stand there in the spring woods,
admiring (as one would say politely
to the hostess, "Delicious!") a loveliness
that once tore you out of yourself,
left the empty shell of you vibrating
with a music that hummed long after
your return. You walked home that day,
ignoring the glad tears that gave you away,
knowing yourself too transparent
to be noted.
Now, admiring, you are solid.
You try to feel by looking harder,
spotting details, stilling the voices
in your head. For a moment you think
something is about to happen,
because you feel teary, but no tears flow--
the source is muddied. And the sting
is not of gladness. For several moments
you stand there trying to put something
back where it belongs, not knowing what,
while the dog trots and sniffs
farther and farther afield. You move on,
thinking, "I've lost it", hoping someday
it will turn up.
Nothing has been lost.
It is what has been added that thickens
the day. It is always with you, a clenched
headache you won't know has held you
until it vanishes. Then you will know
the mass of it--and the masquerade:
That when you strained to see,
the strain was not yours; when you thought:
"I've lost it", the thought belonged
to your burden; when you cried:
"There is no freedom!",
it was your shackles crying.
by Dean Blehert