After a Stint on the Rack
Why does quicksand exist?
Why does the lightning strike like a wildcat
growling from the midst?
Is it just to knock us down
and laugh when we can’t rise?
Is it to have so many truths
and still just utter lies?
Or is there something glamorous
in continuing to smile
even though your reasons to do so
now all taste like bile?
I maintain that those forced to strain
against more-than-impossible odds
are the ones who can drag the world
when it weighs so much more than a ton.
We all know that, when forced to grow,
we feel agony the lengths of our back,
but the truth is that one comes out taller
after a stint on the rack.
I maintain that, even when slain,
we’re remembered more fondly than those
who made the world a far worse place
by being bitter or acting morose.
Jesse Ellsbury's Other Poems
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