Birth and the Pursuit of Happiness

[During her lifetime, Sibyl Mary Croly was a prolific poet. So far I have found over 200 published and unpublished poems. A Square Inch of Space (1974) and Mock Us Gently (1978) contained collections of her works. Numerous other poems were published in newspapers and magazines from 1902 to at least 1978.]

At first it seemed I had been sent to hell
for I was cut off from companionship
and cast out from the comfort I had known.
I fought for a strangling breath to send a cry
of terror into the vast unheeding space.

A hand, unrecognized but not unkind,
touched me and lifted me with the assurance
that I was not alone. I set myself
to breathe, to call aloud for food, to suck
and do the human things that must be done.

I learned I had been sent to Planet Earth,
otherwise known as purgatory, where
each living soul receives its own earned chance
to be content in its own kind of hell
or take a tremulous halting step toward heaven.

If you are granted many years on Earth,
accept the gift with grace; assimilate
experience. Digest the memories
that flood your nights and fertilize the soul
for future harvest. Count this time well spent.

When incidents of misplaced fortitude
present themselves, with debt of unshed tears,
do not refuse to weep; the shower dispels
the cloud, and you have need of clarity
and light upon the road that lies ahead.

All of Sibyl’s poetry published to date on this website can be seen in these posts:

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