Poems, Poetry Prompts

Thorn in My Side

Today’s Poetic Asides Prompt is to write a poem that is a dedication, or a poem with a dedication.

Thorn in My Side
to my Gadfly

Here’s the thing:
The outrage dissipates so much more quickly now.
There’s the kick in the gut when I see your name
there on the email, and I think, “Here we go again,”
and then a moment of panic, another of anger,
and then, this time. . .

I sat there just watching what was happening
inside my head, expecting the roaring in the ears,
the tunneling of vision, the white light blinking
in the back of my brain. And there was nothing, really.
And then, what I didn’t expect: gratitude.
Quiet, twinkling gratitude, and steady purpose.

That shocked me. I’m so used to the exhausting fury,
the worry and self-righteous indignation.
But this time I may have begun to pass the test,
to rest a moment in my breathing, then focus on my center,
to enter–finally–a space where I can see myself,
and you, and shift the focus of the attack.

The thing is:
You have been a better teacher
than you could ever imagine,
and likely more than you intend,
and I have been a less than willing student,
too eager to defend my ego
in the face of your attacks.

You’ve taught me to be curious
about the fury that you send my way,
to stay within my heart-space,
even to offer grace in the midst of your rage.
I have found safety that you cannot touch,
your cages will catch me no longer.
I’m stronger now, and I can hold the net
you toss my way, and turn it
to a golden thread.

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