May 2, 2008
By Elle Lipson, Poway, CA

The rope’s clutch wracks my heart with shame,
Yet I still clutch it, just the same.
Its burning noose throttles calm thoughts
As I’m restrained by stubborn knots,
As sunlight, pulsing, calls my mind,
The rope of will! so tight it binds,
It’s rigid, never yields nor bends,
It chokes the chance to make amends,
To dance there in the sunlit dust,
To grasp warm hands, renew lost trust,
When I so long to drop the rope,
Embrace this golden sun, my hope,
But fingers, mine, what treachery,
They cling to conflict hungrily,
Unwilling to give up this game
Of tugging ropes, assigning blame.
So thus—and this, the truth, I rue—
My inner tug-of-war ensues
Between my stubborn rope restraints
And sunlit hope to end complaints.

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