Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "If I Can Accept Others"

This poem came out of the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] society_of_antisocialites and book_worm5. It also fills the "All of You" square in my 12-1-16 card for the iPod Shuffle Music Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by an anonymous donor.  It belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.


"If I Can Accept Others"


Shaeth was surprised to discover
how much of his experience as
the God of Evil carried over
to being the God of Drunks,

and yet was not quite the same.

Evil minions were exasperating,
drunks were exasperating, but
they did so in different ways.

"How do you put up with us?"
Trobby wondered one evening as
he mopped puke off the temple floor.

"Humans are as they are," Shaeth said
as he brought another bucket. "I've found
that trying to change them is often futile.
If I can accept them as they are, however,
then that helps them be more truly themselves.
If they can accept me, then that helps me
to bring forth my deepest self as well.
Each of us then completes the other."

He reached up and replenished
the light spell on top of a post.

It was important to keep the beacon lit,
but Shaeth had learned that he couldn't
do that with candelabras or bonfires here
the way he used to in cathedrals of evil,
because the drunks would tip them over
and light the whole place on fire.

Just then, a woman they didn't know
staggered to the sanctuary and
plopped herself in the door.

"I am Shaeth, God of Drunks,"
he said. "Welcome to my temple.
"Who are you, and what brings you here?"

"I'm Karna," she said. "I've had
a lotta beer. Messed up my life.
I saw your light." Her head lolled,
looking up at it. "Like a ray of hope."

"It can be," Shaeth said.
"Do you want it to be?"

"Yeah," Karna said, nodding.

"Hold out your hands," he said,
and when she did, he conjured
a spark of light between his own.
Then he tipped it into her palms.

"S'pretty," she slurred.

"Let this light your way,"
he said. "I accept all of you,
as you accept all of me, and
in this light we see each other."

Karna blinked up at him, then
patted his cheek. "They said
you were ugly, but you're not."

Then she passed out on the floor.

Shaeth carried her to a cot. He left
the spark on her chest. "The smallest light
still chases back the dark," he said.

Trobby brought a blanket to keep her warm.
"All right," the priest said to his god.
"I think I understand it now."

* * *

Notes:

When my mind is still and alone with the beating of my heart,
I can sense my basic humanity,
And then I know that all men and women are my brothers and sisters.
Nothing but my own fear and distrust can separate me from the love of friends.
If I can trust others, accept them, enjoy them,
Then my life shall surely be richer and more full.
If I can accept others, this will help them to be more truly themselves,
And they will be more able to accept me.
-- Paul Beattie

Acceptance takes a lot of courage. Here are some tips on how to accept others as they are.

Hope can be a dangerous thing. So before trying to push anyone in that direction, first make sure they want help. There are ways to talk with a friend who has a drinking problem.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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