Loving What Is Mine

The little conch shell dreams of the ocean.

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt is to write a poem on the subject of jealousy. I don’t know that I experience that particular emotion much. Perhaps I am not being honest with myself?

Though I would love to defy gravity with the grace
of an acrobat or ballerina, how can I be jealous?
For jealousy fogs the windows of appreciation,
and pulls my soul’s feet downward just as surely
as my physical body rests solidly on earth,
and I want to let my spirit fly with those who can.

And how can I be jealous of the artist whose line
is so eloquent that a single curve or bend
can draw me to tears? I long to place my truths
within the webs of line and color as great artists do,
but jealousy would push me off the ladder
I am climbing toward them in their lofty realms.

Sometimes I read a line of perfect thought
in poetry or prose and think, “I wish I’d written that!”
But even that distracts me from the beauty of the word,
and pulls me out of that co-creative space wherein
the writer tosses out a thread of meaning
and the reader reels it in, and both are necessary
for the literary process to be complete.

Oh, I get jealous of other people’s tidy spaces,
their immaculate houses that never break down,
their ability to get everything done in timely ways.
But would I trade my life for theirs? Would I then
be satisfied? Or would I ride out of that upgrade
into the next, never learning to be content?

May I always remain unsettled enough
that I continue seeking better ways,
but may my days be filled not with wishing
for another train, but with loving what is mine,
and treasuring the marvelous gifts that others
have and know and do.

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