This was another one from the Hell’s Backbone Grill newsletter and it feels really appropriate for getting used to a new job and starting the long trek through January, after all the celebrations are over. (Bonus, it’s the first time I’ve seen “bindweed” used in a poem.)
Though It Is Tough to Choose It
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Even a small discontent is enough to shut us down,
convince us that the world is cold and indifferent.
Everywhere there’s evidence of this: The slush
that falls on your car seat when you open the car door.
The carrion eaters with their great black wings
that linger beside the road. You pray for sun,
and it gets darker. Someone asks
you a question, and you see your whole life
fold into one small envelope of failure.
Then one day you hit against the same
impassable wall you always hit and this time you fall
to your knees, not because you are weak,
but because at last you are ready to be opened.
Oh sweet failure, how it leads us.
Any unhappy ending is only an invitation
to crawl into the blank pages
of the next unwritten chapter.
It was never success that transformed us—
always the breaking. Not the breaking itself,
but the mystery inside pushing through us
like bindweed through pavement
making cracks in everything
we think we know so that the world
can come streaming in.