Still by Mark Nepo​

After so much pain,
I still want to be here,
the way a minnow tossed
in a puddle wakes and
flips itself silly.

Somehow we go on,
loss after loss, like seeds
drowning in their possibility
under all that snow.

From a distance, stars
are pins of light pushing
back the dark.

But inside, each
is a world of light.

And the Spirit we carry—
that carries us—flares like a
star, everywhere we go, push-
ing back the pain and loss.

Still, a star can’t be seen
without its covering of night,
nor a soul without its
human skin.

I don’t know why.

It has nothing to do with
optimism and pessimism
or with triumph and defeat.

More, the irrepressible reach
of a beam of light entering the
darkest place it can find, because
that is how it fulfills itself.

How we take turns, as the star
and the dark place, how we
complete each other.

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