Sadness, you come in

the most god-awful

moments to strike me

with your sentiment

of doom and melancholy,

and I struggle with

you like Jacob

wrestling with the angel.


I spurn your sober counsel

and tell myself that

I have to be happy,

I have to be serene,

I have to accept it all

with a grimace

and a smile.


It is wisdom,

after all,

or that’s what

all the sages,

modern and ancient,

say: being happy

is the most important

prize in this

torn and fragile life.


But in the struggle you

whisper quietly in

my soul,

not words of comfort

or words of inspiration

written in disposable

self-help books

but words that

echo from the travail

of humankind.


You say,

“In your wrestling with

me find all that matters,

all that makes you human,

all that forms  who you are.”