Some Things Are Worth Fighting For And This Is One Of Them

by dbdevilliers

It’s more than a little tired at this point to
go after that old cliché that it’s always better being
younger than older
but I’m still young enough to do it
what happens is you learn things
you learn what everyone learns:

that life has a nasty tendency to slip through your fingers or
sneak past you when for an instant you lowered your
gaze without even realizing it
that happiness isn’t exactly what you thought it was

it’s not a destination because barring certain professions most
people don’t go on a road trip and arrive in the middle of a battle
because that’s what it really is
you fight so hard to eke out a little
instant for yourself
and when that instant comes you’ve gotta dig in and
fight to hold on to it because the waves never stop coming
and they never get tired
they never falter

but we’re just people
feeble fallible people
we get tired and we falter and the instant slips by and you
find yourself nearly overrun and in that instant you’ll want to
turn your pistol on yourself because you’ve heard all the
awful stories of what’ll happen now
truth is we’re most of us no more than two or
three bad choices from
a gutter or a
gravestone and so you’ve
got to dig in and fight despite your
shrinking perimeter

and this is the part that trips a lot of people up
sure trips me up
there’s no valor in this fight
it’s you get up you brush your teeth you put your boots on you
tell customers to have a good one for eight hours in
exchange for forty eight dollars
this ain’t iwo jima even though sometimes I think
that’s what our instincts are really screaming for
a saber tooth tiger you’ve got to spear before it
starts to tear into
your trachea
starvation and exposure a constant
horrifying struggle against forces so unimaginably
bleak because that’s what we’ve done for the overwhelming
portion of our time as a species and nothing is ever unlearnt quickly
least of all the worst of things

I will create distance between myself and reality
I will seek ease
I will stand in line and buy my prepackaged meat and the foam and
the cellophane separate me from the
man who nine hundred miles away struck the beast over the
head with a sledgehammer to stun it straddling the narrow
booth into which it was led and then the other men cinch its legs and winch
it up and cut its throat and it bleeds to death without even having
an instant to wonder
how its remains are to be cut up and trucked away refrigerated
inventoried to be bought and sold to wonder that that’s the only reason it was ever
fed cornmeal augered down a hundred yard trough alongside countless others of
its kind literally cow-eyed and caged and utterly bewildered until it reached size enough to
take the trip to the final spot where the
man waits with the hammer
I will do this
I’ll hardly think about it
I’ll hardly care of course
or I’d make different choices
and this isn’t a poem advocating vegetarianism hell I hardly
eat vegetables unless you count corn mash distilled into
whiskey it’s a poem about well
this is the modern life and won’t you sit here and
marvel at its splendor
all the ease it breeds in me
ill at ease
maybe you know what I’m talking about
maybe not

and someday I’ll make one of these and it’ll be right and it’ll save me
suppose every writer thinks the writing will save him
and yes of course the war in my head never stops no
matter how much I move the words around
what can you do what can you really do
well there are lots of ways to end up in federal custody
and there are lots and lots of ways to die
and lots and lots of ways to live
so dig in buddy, it’s gonna be for the long haul
nobody’s fast enough to distance reality, not really
and it’ll be worth it in the end
you’ll carve out your piece
it’ll be worth it in the end
you’ll find your peace
if only for an instant
and it’ll all be worth it.