Saturday, January 31, 2015



I have watched you
I witnessed when you fell
I was close enough to see 
the struggle and the load
that took you down

some of it was just life
you know, the things we all have
the daily struggle
the anguish of life
the heartbreak of loss
those things we all must carry
and they are best carried alone

these are a few of the things 
someone can help you with
but you must still learn
to carry them alone
because, they will come at times
when there is no one

then, there was the weight of decisions
the aftermath of choices
the chains and baggage of living
that is different for everyone
that which is light in my life
may be devastating in yours

so, I watch your struggle
with my own internal torment
of when, where, and how to step in
too soon, and you don't learn
and I become your enabler
too late, and the damage may be irreversible
the sickness, incurable

I see you fall
I fight the urge to run
I fight the overwhelming internal need
to rush to your side
put you on my shoulders
lift you above the troubles
show you the warming sunlight 
of a bright future

I hear the terrible sounds
you hitting the ground
the rush of breath
forced out as you land
the breaking
as you try to catch yourself

I listen
for the next sounds
the sounds of movement
the sounds of struggle
the sounds of the fight inside you 
the sounds of determined breath
the sounds of raising

it is not the falling that scares me most
it is not the sounds of struggle I fear
it is not the scrapes and cuts
it is not the bruises
these I dislike, this is true
but they do not break my heart (much)

the thing I fear the most
that which would surely break my heart
would be the sounds of stillness
the lack of the sounds of a struggle
the awful sounds of resignation
the terrible sounds of falling becoming failing

over the years I have lost count
of the times I have seen you fall
even when you threatened to quit
you did so with the sounds of the struggle
still in your voice
I heard the fall
I didn't hear the fail

you have stood
you have shook yourself
you have, at times, limped back home
you have done what you must
to prevent a fall from becoming a fail

perhaps we haven't said it often enough
while we have not always been delighted 
with the choices and decisions you have made
we have always been proud of the person you are
proud that you still struggle
proud that your falls have not become your fails

falling is a given
failing is a choice

Ron Simpson, Jr.
January 31, 2015

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