It doesn’t help to think about what I don’t love

and most of the time

I am reminded of it

like an alarm clock that goes off

when I want to sleep

or a car that honks

when I was supposed to go

It isn’t distance

from hateful things

that I long for

it is the absence of hate

My mind reacts

when poked

And now it knows

not to poke back

But even still, it tries to sift

through the lingering resentment

like sand that might blow away

into nothing

And there is always someone or something

who sees my happiness

and tries to poke it

to see if it is real

You have to bury it

deep inside

like a cheerful bird

you say to be silent

it sings in the spring

flys in the summer

nests in the fall

and gives you eggs in the winter

Even though you put on a serious face

Some hear your song

inside

and smile

Our birds sing

in unison

a silent chorus of hidden joy

from the empty aviaries of misery

long ago abandoned

just feathers

and droppings

and silent noise

Never lose your bird

feed it wonderful worms of wisdom

and keep listening to your song

inside.

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