Origin Story

Not all suffering
makes us kinder.
Not all pain
makes us grow.

There are tears
that never mend,
losses that leave us hard and jagged,
injuries that cripple our limbs
or leave permanent holes.

There are some wounds so deep
they break us.
Some evils so great
they overwhelm our good.

There is rage so old and hot
it becomes venom.
There are strings of bad luck so long
they must be personal.
And fears so broad and justified
we never leave home again.

There are some storms
we simply cannot weather.
That makes us neither weak
nor holy.
That which maims
is never pretty.

Do not romanticize my suffering,
or try to convert it to virtue.
Do not glorify my pain, or
encourage me to build shrines
in its honor.
I did not need this experience
to sanctify me,
to make me a better person.

Some tragedies steal
as much as they give.
Trauma makes as many villains
as superheroes.

© S. Rinderle, July 2022

Friend Zone

Why
don’t you
like me?

Do my hazel eyes
and salty mane
irritate?
Do my perky buns
and ample melons
offend?
Do my generous laugh
and crackling wit
upset?
Do my income,
independence,
degrees,
and sanity
displease?

Or do our many similarities
annoy?

Silly boy.
Questing half a century
pursuing tired fantasy.
Don’t you yet know
sparks can fly
then easily die?

You say you had a great time.
You testify
to comfort, connection,
easy flow,
and big laughs.
You were surprised
how quickly time flew by.

Foolish boy.
Your compass is awry.
Haven’t you yet learned
that without such things
any love is just
a lie?

© S. Rinderle, July 2022