Meredith L. Patterson (maradydd) wrote,
Meredith L. Patterson

[poetry] Any Landing You Can Walk Away From

A sestina. For Britt, on her 25th birthday, though neither addressed to nor at all about her.

Any Landing You Can Walk Away From

What do you do when all the crashing's over,
The jet-fuel flames extinguished, and the ground
An ally once again? You breathe, you stop,
And then you move along. Do not look back
At where you might have been; you should be happy
With any landing you can walk away from.

If it's a landing you can walk away from
It means you lived. Calm down. Relax. It's over.
I know it isn't easy to be happy
When you keep having nightmares that the ground
Is rushing toward you and you can't turn back.
All I can promise is that, someday, they will stop.

Put down your flailing hands. Stop screaming. Stop.
You got a landing you could walk away from;
That's more than others get. And now you're back
To take some names. Like hell this thing is over
Before you say so. Curse, and kick the ground,
Sneer dangerously, snarl that you are happy.

You know that things alone won't make you happy;
You can't buy closure, cannot put a stop
To haunting doubts with mortal goods. But ground
Yourself there while you can, and walk away from
Whatever guilt you can. The mourning's over.
Take your success, and by God, don't look back.

But then, you'll find, instead of looking back
You're looking inward, trying to be happy.
Madness defined is when, over and over,
The old tricks fail, and yet you cannot stop.
What point, a landing you can walk away from
When all you want's to sink beneath the ground?

Then, one day, you wake up, and there is ground
Beneath your feet; your head's clear, and your back
Unbowed. You landed, then you walked away from
The chaos that ensued, and you are happy
Despite it all.
                    And yet sometimes you stop
And wonder if it ever was all over.

At last: the end. No; an. It's never over.
At last it's something that, sometimes, you're happy
To walk away from. Sometimes, you walk back.
Tags: poetry

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