Stand There

Stand there and hurt
Learn something new now and again
Write everything down

Drive a ways out of town
Wear a hat and a nice pair of boots
Carry a good tea with you

Lose supposed-to-be’s along the road
Open the window and let them exit into the air
And with respect leave them there

Only God is God
Let your other gods
Go to work for someone else

Sit in the sun and be that person
With the steely face you recognize
From having been there

Then begin over
Start this time with gratitude
You are alive

Then catalogue your complaints
Find someone who will listen
Listen to them all

Don’t smoke a cigarette
Don’t sleep on the floor
Don’t drink a whiskey

Be present
Completely here
Then give more

This is what they taught me
In the gates
Outside the camp

This is what I heard
When I stood with the ancestors
Asking for help

This is what I was given
And this is what
I give

jsg, usa