Sunday, May 5, 2019

one and the same

when I was twenty,
I was torn between being
gentle and being strong.

I thought gentle was what
good people were
and strong was what
powerful people are.

now I am twenty-seven,
which is not much older.

but I have learned
that gentleness is like a tree
and so is strength.

Gentleness without strength
leaves your heart bitter
Strength without gentleness leaves
your mind brittle,
liable to be chipped.

But trees are strong,
because they are gentle,
gentle with the soil they sink into,
gratefully taking and giving in return.
They are gentle with their shade
and their leaves and their branches
sheltering from the strong April sun
and soft May rain.

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