"The Beauty Of Hopelessness"

by Rebecca del Rio


You are hanging from a branch
by your teeth. No
way to save yourself
or others who hang, too.
Arms that cannot reach
any branch, legs stretch but
cannot find the smooth safe trunk.

All around, your loved ones,
friends, strangers hang--
teeth clamp bony twigs
that suspend necessary hopes
and plans.

It is hopeless. No rescue will arrive.
So you relax, taste the clean,
unfamiliar tang of sap,
feel the forgiving wind against
your waving arms, arms
that swim through emptiness.

Without hope, life is
focused, fluid, a ledge
of fragile earth suspended
over the ocean of unknowing, the end
of the branch. Life is
the glorious moment
before the fall when all
plans are abandoned,
the love you give
as you hang, loving
those who hang with you.

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