ON FORGIVENESS Forgive the snow that heals the stricken earth And nurtures it when thaw comes in the Spring. Forgive the mockingjay its callow mirth, Forgive the honeybee its painful sting Love kindness like Cordelia showed to Lear, The brother-joy of Joseph, though betrayed, The deeds Valjean displayed before Javert, The mercy Portia says cannot be weighed. Forgiveness – given well, though sometimes held In thrall to Justice based upon the facts. No grace to spirits dark where murder dwells. I think the tree should not forgive the axe. But what I can’t forgive I stow away Behind a wall of ivy, trees and stone Some cruelties must locked in memory stay But greatly weakened, stripped down to the bone. Forgive the ruby rose her bloody thorn. Forgive the friends who love but soon depart. The worst of life comes not from being born. It comes from being hollow in the heart.
Brian Yapko is a lawyer whose poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Grand Little Things, Society of Classical Poets, Poetica, Chained Muse, Garfield Lake Review, Tempered Runes Press, Auroras and Blossoms, Showbear Family Circus, Sparks of Calliope, Iris Literary Journal, Rainbow Poems, Parliament Literary Journal and Abstract Elephant. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his husband, Jerry, and their canine child, Bianca.