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THE ANSWER

The sharpest pain of all is the Spear of Betrayal.
It bites deeply into heart and soul.
The head seeks for the cause.
The heart sinks down and weeps quietly.
The spirit tries to understand,
and often fails.

The hardest fate of all is to take on another’s work.
It takes more than simply courage.
There are moments of despair,
and nights of questioning the final acceptance.
Always conscious that you carry someone’s dream
and afraid to trip.

The greatest temptation of all is to rush ahead too fast.
To plan too much and lose the vital thread.
Then you must go back and try again.
To see what must be done, and how to hasten slowly.
Always looking forward to the next hurdle and the next task,
trying to cope.

The most wearisome task is to try to live as well as work.
To remember every name and every place.
To begin each day with hope.
Each task is set and must be carried to its final end,
regardless of the time and aching limbs.
One foot after the other.

The most sustaining hope of all is to know that you really care.
That nothing can turn you from the chosen path.
The loving contact pressing close.
The inner voice comforting and easing the worst of the blows.
The quiet moments before sleep claims its own.
Why me? Why must I take these arrows?
The inner voice replies,
You were chosen and you accepted.

©1997 Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki



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