Resolution

by R. S. Thomas
ResolutionThe new year brings the old resolve

to be brave, to be patient,

to suffer the betrayal of birth

without flinching, without bitter

words. The way in was hard;

the way out could be made

easy, but one must not take

it; must await decay perhaps

of the mind, certainly of the mind’s

image of itself that it has

projected. The bone aches, the blood

limps like a cripple about the ruins

of one’s body. Yet what are these

but the infirmities that we share

with the creatures? It is the memories

that one has, the impenitent bungler

of love, refusing for too long

to say “yes” to that earlier gesture

of love that had brought one

forth; it is these, as they grow

clearer with the telescoping

of the years, that constitute

for the beholder the true human pain.

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