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Tiger's Eye

Yes, I have been between the maw of the world.
It threatens to bite down, teeth sinking slowly into my flesh,
my head stays still; I leave it.
One sudden movement on either end,
it would all be over. I'm careful,
I try not to let it get to me. But this is no simple task.

When the war ended, I stood in the dust and wreckage
of a world that once was, and there,
in the midst of it, a glint of yellow and orange.
I kneel down and pick it up, dusting off
the ashes of a thousand generations,
and it gleams in the rays of the dying sun. I kept it with me.

As the days pass, yet again I find myself in the maw,
this time not just the world, but Heaven,
Hell, too. How difficult it is,
and tears are streaming from my eyes and
when they hit the arid ground beneath me,
poppies sprout up, grinning at me with white petals.

I've grown and shed my skin many times by now.
Blood, gone. My vision, still young.
I hurt everywhere but I hurt nowhere,
who am I to even reap the benefits
of the people around me who are busy, at work,
rebuilding, revitalizing the world I had a hand in destroying?

Why continue to complain, I think to myself,
and I slowly, carefully, walk down the slope.
Thousands walked here before me,
thousands will walk after. Crying
helps no one, but you have to admit,
it feels better now, right? Right. Maybe.

Despite it all, that tiger's eye continues
to wink at me from my back pocket. It says,
Keep me inside of your heart,
Whenever you feel it's too much to handle,
Remember that you lifted me up out of all the rest.

Then I feel a bit lighter.