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Poem: 180 Degrees
From my morning reflections today.
I swerved, I ducked, I ran.
Like a gnarled oak tree its shadow was there.
I ate, I fucked, I smoked.
Like an eagle its eyes pierced my heart.
I worked, I clung, I evaded.
Like a snow leopard it stalked me.
It pounced one day.
From the mountains, it struck.
I flailed, I fought, I begged.
“Stop,” it said, “please stop.”
I fought harder, it clung tighter.
Exhausted, panting, struggling, my strength faded.
After years of the chase, it had me.
To my surprise there was no attack.
To my shock there were no claws.
To my amazement there were no teeth.
My shoulders dropped, my heart slowed.
My eyes welled and my belly released.
After an eternity of running, I finally turned around.
I saw what I had feared.
It was tender.
It was frightened.
It was sad.
It was desperate for love.
It was isolated in its own tundra shivering and cold.
“I only want what you want,” it said.
Tears ran down its face.
“See me,” it begged.
Tears ran down my face.
“I see you,” I said.
It faded into the ice, smiling and content.
The ice melted into a great river flowing and free.
What was my fear was now my guide.
What once terrified me now carried me.
Isolation transmuted to connection.
Fear transmuted to trust.
After an epic hunt, we are together once again.