Good Job

All that failure redeemed
when you push your limits and handle it.

You are handling it:
every finger a tool,
lightning shooting from your palms,
and so many arms–
why, the lassos alone
make the sky spaghetti.

All that lost time and hurt
was then. Stay Zen.
You stretched yourself to this shape.

The bullets are raindrops;
the waves are wind.
Look at you, braced on
tree-trunk legs, scanning
the whitecaps, the hills,
lifting your chin.

The diving bats
are paper hats.

Thank you.
From me, from all of us.
It couldn’t be harder,
and you’re doing such a good job.

All those hallucinated
self-justifications
turned out unneeded:
you’ve panned out,
made the grade.

All those crossed-out
lines of thought,
those days of fever.

You are one for whom the
highest flattery rings honest,
for you have exhibited–
ha! Did I say “have exhibited”?–

you live the highest principle,
love,
treating with honor
the otherness of the world.

A wise discipline,
for time’s kisses are sweet,
its wilds dextrous and fanged.

Girl: what a woman.
Mister, you’re one hell of a man.

We have held you close
while holding you at bay,
but not today.

You crouch and spin.
Your crouching and spinning
alone are impressive.
As a toddler, you
ran into walls,
grinned mid-pain.

Let me tell you something.
Back on the home continent,
they’re smiling, yet again,
in celebration of what you’ve
done for their name.

Home anywhere,
you wave them in and join elbows,
spilling drinks and cleaning them,
so everything gleams.

The snarling dogs
hang from your jeans.

The cannonade
is just the band.

The latest ink
on your scroll of soul
is somehow in your own
correct hand.

Enjoy the hum of pride
in surging veins.
Why not?
We need what you’ve got.

We look to you
to explain
so much more than just yourself,
and to remember names.

So unbelievably willing and able
at breakneck speed
or the humble table!

It’s like the seconds are minutes,
the way you get things done–
day-managing as if you’d
hired a manager
for that alone!

But oh, how–
yes, ahhh, how–
to be with you
is an oasis of “now.”

A symphony of slipped-off shoes,
synchronized lassos…

And God knows, if anyone deserves a vacation–
though of course, who’d be a replacement?
Right?: no answer.

All those foot-drags–
now you, with the rhythm of a dancer
and the unconcentrating
concentration.

The people’s choice.
The ancestors’ voice.
The children’s elation.

The armies and death
barely a hitch in your breath.

The dragon lungs,
the hornet swarms:
puppy tongues.

All that stress, the interruptions.
Now just appearing, genie-like, when missed.
Sun-kissed, with the lost instructions.

Post- all that old danger,
resetting bones for strangers.

Handling it.
Always knowing
whose mess you’re mopping;
shaking your head and thinking.
Non-stopping, unsinking.

Seeing good and bad
like different colors.
Stilling the rudder’s
shudders.

Making everything better like butter,
plus helping the heart–
making you better than butter.

There’s just, it’s almost
embarrassing to utter,
a light in you.

Through such thick nights
you shine upon us.
I’m only being honest.

Good job.
Damn good job!
Practically unbelievable.
THANK YOU.
Then, and still–

for all that grace and beauty
you’ve always had
and always will.

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