Ronald Shields

Rookie - 0 Points (2/12/1956 / New York City)

The Weight - Poem by Ronald Shields

Against the day I am powerless
so I rise
to face it
in the mirror.
Finding
a vaguely
familiar face
I wash it,
shave it,
prepare it
for a world that will not see it.

The children are first off the mark.
They are young
and carry
less weight.
When does it change?
When will they feel
gravity as if for the first time?

My wife is next to leave.
She carries
the weight
so gracefully
it looks
effortless.
The strength
of this Woman
keeps it all
from collapsing in on us.

The weight that is mine comes in pieces
I
can
barely
lift.
They are
in my chest,
on my back,
arms
and legs.
Without crutches
I am hopeless, cannot walk out the door.

This weight is not the same for you and me.
This weight
has a cost.
This weight
demands
its due.
This weight
exacts its toll.
This weight
commands
we each have our own price to pay.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012



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