What Must Be Done
Notty Bumbo, 2017
One leg dangles, precipitously.
The other flails in the moonless dark.
Hands tire, her arms
Beginning to feel the far shore.
So many times the heart begs release,
Holds in abeyance unresolved regrets.
What she was, of little importance
To herself, and all those imagined others,
Now matters less than air.
One leg dangles,
The distance between now and always
So much closer than fear’s sad refrains.
How one arrives at the edges
Cannot equal how one turns back,
How the day is more filled with stars
Than desperate sleep is abandoned by hope.
She does not mean for the inevitable
To arrive so soon,
Wants another day at the beach,
Dreams of his face early in the mornings,
Asleep and stilled of all concerns.
So many moments still to be joined,
The elemental nature of desires without end.
Who she was only and always
Becomes new, shifts between
Was, is, may in some small manner become,
Each resurgent breath filling the atmosphere
With another and another atom of her existence.
Her arms begin to fail,
Her hands cannot hold
To the cliff’s edge much longer.
In this she stands for all,
In all measures of time we are there,
Our legs dangle as they all do,
Never ready to feel the weight of departure.
In this she flies as we would fly,
Learns the necessity of letting go.
None of us practices our birth,
Though it is nothing more
Than what must be done.