When the sweetness drains away,
and all that’s left is bitterness,
when we’re beaten down, alone,
our labors turned to blowing dust,
when we’ve lost our confidence,
stretched and broken on the rack,
then our minds are full of fears,
our hearts and bodies crushed.
When hope has yielded to despair
and courage changed to cowardice,
when we’ve lost our discipline
and wasted so our hours and years,
with wits and strengths, convictions drained
and ardor turned to helplessness,
then all our light has waned and left,
and darkness rules our lives.
But in that bitterness, we seek
the flavor, then, of truth,
and in the midst of darkness, there
might be again a spark,
so feeling still the weight of life,
with all its lightness gone,
we still can grope until the end,
unyielding, in the dark.
When life has lost its meaning
and death is our release,
then what remains for us to give,
except our very selves—
until we pause and see that we
have more to suffer yet—
and so remain—to still remit
our dues, before we leave.
2016 September 25th, Sat. (3rd stanza added Sep. 26th) Brooklyn, New York