They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
(Sent to me by my dad, so he can’t be so bad.)
Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.
Learn the alchemy true human beings
know: the moment you accept what
trouble you’ve been given, the door
will open. Welcome difficulty
as a familiar comrade. Joke with
torment brought by the Friend.
Sorrows are the rags of old clothes
and jackets that serve to cover,
then are taken off. That undressing,
and the naked body underneath, is
the sweetness that comes from grief.