Hope Now and Then…

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314)

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

The Hope I Know

By Thomas Cantonella

doesn’t come with feathers.

It lives in flip-flops and, in cold weather,

a hooded sweatshirt, like a heavyweight

in training, or a monk who has taken

a half-hearted vow of perseverance.

It only has half a heart, the hope I know.

The other half it flings to every stalking hurt.

It wears a poker face, quietly reciting

the laws of probability, and gladly

takes a back seat to faith and love,

it’s that many times removed

from when it had youth on its side

and beauty. Half the world wishes

to stay as it is, half to become

whatever it can dream,

while the hope I know struggles

to keep its eyes open and its mind

from combing an unpeopled beach.

Congregations sway and croon,

constituents vote across their party line,

rescue parties wait for a break

in the weather. And who goes to sleep

with a prayer on the lips or half a smile

knows some kind of hope.

Though not the hope I know,

which slinks from dream to dream

without ID or ally, traveling best at night,

keeping to the back roads and the shadows,

approaching the radiant city

without ever quite arriving.

Thomas Centolella, “The Hope I Know” from Almost Human.  Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Centolella.

One Comment Add yours

  1. equinoxio21 says:

    Muy bonito. “La esperanza es lo último que muere.” As a local saying goes

    Liked by 1 person

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