Sunday, October 31, 2010

Poem of the Week #148

Why We Cry

When babies cry, no tears are shed.
There is only that incessant screaming.

Some tears come as reaction to pain—
these seen most readily in children

who have fallen off bicycles or out
of trees. (Adults, when was the last time

you cried for hitting your elbow?) We cry
when wronged or then again, when righted

(as in honored, helped, or recognized.)
We cry at the sheer immensity of it all.

Tears come to water the soul, involuntarily.
You’d be surprised how much you need hydration.

At funerals, tears flow like blood. They complete
a chain reaction from one heart to another.

At birth, they come as relief and release,
and at weddings, they cascade like rain.

Are we crying because we are happy
for the new couple or sad for ourselves?

We cry because it is a rite of passage
and all such rites require salt and water.

Lisa Vihos

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