My Reply

In short, I said “I hope you’re well!”
And you replied with a list,
You sent words about boxes you’ve checked off,
Yet it felt like you were holding a fist.

Almost involuntarily,
I started prepping my list to send back,
But then something stopped me,
Right in my tracks.

It was the girl from my younger years,
The one who was so insecure,
The one who felt unworthy,
Because of financial difficulty she had to endure.

The one who fought and fought,
To feel like she was enough,
The one who scrubbed other people’s toilets,
Which made junior high even more tough.

Back in those days,
I learned something invaluable:
Happiness built on a materialistic life,
Is not fulfilling or sustainable.

It takes more than a list of checked items,
To fill your heart to the brim,
Those things don’t hold you at night,
Nor do they comfort you when life is dim.

I took that backpack of pressure off,
Several years ago,
When the bottom fell out of my life,
Yet sometimes I have to remind myself to keep letting it go.

Who you are,
Is more than surface deep,
It’s what’s on your pillow,
When you go to sleep.

It’s your character,
And whether or not you have a word you keep,
It’s daring to forge a different path,
Instead of being another sheep.

It’s your courage,
When you’re scaling life’s mountains,
It’s your bravery,
When you face fears that come at you like a fountain.

It’s your passions,
It’s your dreams,
It’s your hope,
That creates light beams.

It’s who you are, not what you have,
It’s what makes you feel alive,
It’s what people will remember about you,
Long after you die.

You want a reply? You can keep your checked boxes,
And turn them into bricks,
You can build yourself a wall,
And use the oldest of tricks:

You can toss out distractions,
So people look at them instead of you,
But is that what you want to be known for,
When your life is through?

© Regina Mast 2016

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