Poem: The order

By: S.CS


“I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:
day draws near, another one, do what you can.”
–Czesław Miłosz

All good soldiers in this Army of Life march forth
into night. Weary of the battle and tired of the struggle,
they lay their broken things beside their “beds,” and
enter a place where they must go—a craggy dark
place that smells of must and dew. They enter this

unearthly place because they have no choice. Unsure
what they will find, they go–for they could not endure a
life-continuum unbroken. Yes, they find rest and reprieve,
but something else: Entry to this station appeals
to something deep within. They must go, and they

sense the reason. This place holds something different
for each who enters in, and never gives the same to those
who return, as they do … again, again, and again. Seemingly
endless nights comprise a life. Sometimes they find that
which they believe to be of themselves, and other times

they are lost as they go down ever so deep within.
They drill down, down, down … O at last, the bottom has been
reached. And in this moment, the command is issued: “You
must return. Another day draws near. Do what you can.”
And the good soldiers of this Army of Life respond to the

command. They struggle toward the surface, and find the
battles await them (again). They arise to the day (again), take
leave of their beds (again), pick up their broken things (again),
and calibrate their positions (again). They will do what they must.
For they shall obey the command of the unearthly tongue.

They will do what they can.



Categories: Poetry

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