There’s a Phoenix deep within me
It lives within my soul,
I’m not certain how I know this
But it’s there, to make me whole.
When the torments of this body,
Become too much to bear,
I’m enveloped by depression
With a mood too dark to care.
I care not if the sun sets or rises,
I care not if it’s rainy or dry.
Despair darkens my life
And all I can do is cry.
Sometimes it’s the pain, itself,
Or pain brought on by others.
Ingratitude, ignorance, indifference
From a friend, a spouse or brother.
I know it’s difficult for some,
To know what I live each day.
They can’t see beyond themselves,
Self-interest blinds their way.
I recall the tale of the Phoenix
A bird that lived 500 years
Before throwing himself on a pyre
To be consumed, so it appears.
Once soaring like an eagle
Aloft, upon the wind,
It’s said he did plunge and dive
Determined to descend.
When his life is lost in ashes
And he is at an end,
A new Phoenix then arises
In full glory doth ascend.
My life is not enchanted,
I fear it’s all too real.
Every morning on waking,
Same old Achilles heel.
Only in dreams can I forget
Or soar above the Parthenon
Where I’m pain free and strong
Then I fall to earth each dawn.
It’s always there, waiting,
This aching, this disease, this demise
As I argue out loud to my Maker
“Dear God, teach me to be wise.”
It’s not enough to survive each day
As challenging as that is,
I aspire to find hidden places
While I walk the precipice.
Some days the pain pulls me down,
I feel myself start to descend
Then I recall that brave Phoenix
And find the power, somehow, to transcend.
I know that I can rise above,
Exceed, perhaps, excel.
When I’m feeling very brave
I turn and face this hell.
I look it in the face and say,
“This is not what I desire,
This is not what I had planned,
Guess it’s time to hit that pyre.”
I succumb, and let it take me down.
I cry, I shout, I grieve,
Into the fires of my pain
I find the courage to believe.
Thank you, dear Phoenix,
For the fine example you set.
This pain, it can’t consume me
The pain can’t get me, yet.
Sue Falkner Wood