The challenge is to write about hardship, but
it feels too much like complaining. Like, what
do I know about pain? I’m still alive, right?
I didn’t go to war; never even had a fight.
Sure, I’ve been late paying the rent; sure
there are times when I still miss her;
sure, I’ve missed a few payments, been
rewarded with higher interest, and seen
my credit score plummet, but I’ve never held
a friend’s hand while he breathed his last, smelled
the stink of decay after death, or even stayed
around when I knew one was going. Afraid
of hardship I distracted myself for years,
but is hardship just avoiding your fears?
I wasn’t there when J___ fed exhaust into
his car; we’d lost touch when M___ grew
too sad and fed herself the barrel. Never mind
a broken heart; never mind your confined
desires or financial insecurity. If everything
is relative, never worry about regretting
what just comes down to more complaining.
PAD Challenge 7: a poem about hardship