#437: Gifts and Curses (the penultimate poem, April 29, 2022)

“We are disabused of original giftedness in the first half of our lives. Then — if we are awake, aware, and able to admit our loss — we spend the second half trying to recover and reclaim the gift we once possessed.”

Parker J. Palmer

Gifts and Curses

Parker J. Palmer asks us
to reclaim our birthright gifts.
Somehow, miraculously,
I was not disabused of mine.
I held on tight, even as a child
and into my teenage years,
to playfulness, to performance,
to the love of melody and rhythm,
to the impulse to create worlds
of words, to leaning always into
the silly and the absurd,
and conversely, to serious thought.
My curses, as I see them,
gifts in disguise, sometimes
barbed and weighty: the vulnerability
of an open heart, an excess of
selfishness, more often than not,
at the mercy of some desire or another,
a tendency toward too much of
a good thing. Some say regret is foolish,
but I’ve got one or two and I will likely
never be free of them. It’s all to the good,
I say, as long as the shadow and the light
can harmonize, can recognize each other
as friends.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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