The Second Arrow

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                       “In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However,

                         the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The second one is optional.”

                                                                            -The Buddha


Even more painful than the first arrow

is how the second one, when it wedges in you,

proves nearly fatal unless you grasp it

firmly by the shaft and push it through

sinew, skin and muscle if it’s in a limb.


But if it’s deeply worked into your soul or torso

you must soak your hands with blood and dig

until you reach the arrow tip, then go

mindfully around the barb, cutting, loosening

the flesh—don’t make things worse—and sever

what otherwise would fester from the shaft,

forgive such pain and lift it to the air.


-Dick Allen

Categories: Poems & PhotosTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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