I have had a love hate relationship with hope.
When I was young, hope was a marvelous thing. Hope was golden, full of promise and just waiting to unfold. I had a bit of the Midas touch in those days. Most things I wished for came my way. Yes, I had some disappointments, everyone does, but on the whole, things just kind of fell my way and hope was something to be savored. I took for granted that my hopes would come true, and so hope was a beautiful thing to me.
But then, almost overnight, I was introduced to the dark side of hope, the fickle, taunting, almost sadistic side. This is the place of hope deferred, hope withheld, hope denied. This is a dark and agonizing road. There is something terribly heart-wrenching about hope being denied over and over again. It puts your heart in a vice grip and strains your soul to the utmost. It makes it hard to breathe and it makes life itself a drudgery, something to be gotten through, not relished.
When your hopes have been so long denied, daring to hope again, to put yourself out there again, is a very scary thing. Ceasing to hope would almost seem the safest, kindest route when you’ve been so battered by failed hopes.
And yet, life without hope, well, that is all but unthinkable! To accept that this is it, that this is as good as it’s going to get? That is not to be born!
And so I have wrestled with hope, and in the wrestling, I wrote this poem. I hope that you enjoy it, though I can’t but hope that you don’t identify with it! I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!
What once was bright with promise
Is now bent and broken with time
For life does not seem too careful a bearer
Of youth’s fragile dreams.
Heavily laden, I find myself plodding forward,
Crippled by disappointment’s wounds,
But life does not allow the time
To stop and heal before forcing us ever onward.
So weary is my soul that I long to close my eyes
And look no more down
The halls of possibility.
I long to close my eyes to hope
And so deny its allure.
Instead I would embrace what is
and shun what might be.
Such a compassionless friend!
Beckoning . . . enticing . . .
Luring me further on.
Like the mirage of water
In the heat of a summer’s day
It disappears as I think to arrive
Only to appear again
With empty promises further down the road.
for what never will arrive.
I cannot stop;
I stumble forward,
Incapable of ceasing to try.
No truer words were ever written,
Than those of hope deferred.
For to lure the broken heart to hope,
And hope yet again to deny,
Is a blight to my soul.