Normal by Reginald Harris

street tears
Street Tears | Muhxleek | muhxleek.tumblr.com

 

for Shara McCallum

walk long enough
with a pebble in your shoe
and walking with a pebble becomes
normal

you no longer notice
the discomfort          the limp is just
another thing to live with
pain just another fact of life

until someone you haven’t seen for a time
asks      Why are you limping
and you remember
Oh yes, that’s right –
I have a pebble in my shoe

and then what do you do
take it out       leave it in because
you are used to its dull and constant ache
do not want to learn how to walk properly again

live long enough
with war
and it becomes
normal

men and women you don’t know –
someone else’s children –
fly off the edges of the map
to places you were never taught existed

photos of the dead close out
nightly news programs           a familiar tag-
line as the anchor signs off
until tomorrow

images of troops march across
a strange topography    the sound of guns
going off in places so distant
you hardly notice             one barely hears a noise

until someone says
We’ve been at war my entire adult life
and you remember
Oh, yes, that’s right –
there IS a war still going on

And then what do you do?

 

reginald harris
Reginald Harris

Originally published in Split This Rock

See all the pieces from 29 Days of Beautiful here.

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