THE SECOND ARROW
“In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However,
the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The second one is optional.”
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.