Self-Delusion

I am driven,
a woman obsessed.
feet digging in,
body pressed forward,
the sweat on my brow
blackened by the relentless dust
whipping around me
in the prairie heat.
I drive on,
fatherless,
husbandless,
solely responsible
for my cargo
the horses heeding my commands,
everything, everyone
I treasure
on board.
I am a pioneer
delivering us
to the promised land.

I am wounded,
bleeding,
my prone body
curled on a mat of straw
back towards the others
teeth clenched
in silent pain
determined
not to show my need.
I will not be a burden.
so I feign sleep
and brace myself
against the jolts
and try not to gasp.
Lie still,
Be brave,
the journey is necessary
and soon we will arrive
and all will be well
and I will stop,
bleeding.

We children
are both afraid and
joyous
The ride is bumpy
and never-ending
and we try to be good
and not complain
but our spirits long
to play
to get out of this wagon
and find cool water to
splash in
or play hopscotch
in the sand.
But we are obedient
and so instead
find laughter
in the moments
in our own company.
Believing,
trusting,
that all is for a reason,
and the end is near.

I am a young man,
and I have goals,
and dreams
beyond the confines of these wagon walls.
I have a vision
of a life fulfilling,
of purpose,
and gold,
and I am ready
and able
to fight
I am willing
to strive,
fearless
into the unknown
yet I am trapped
held captive
by my elders.
overlooked.

I am the faithful,
God-inspired
all-believing,
hopeful,
prayerful,
trusting in higher power
caught in a web
of pleading, asking, forgiving,
accepting, and wondering.
What can I give of myself?
What does God need?
Am I not good enough?
Have we sinned?
Are we being punished?
Are our needs only trite,
and we selfish?
Must we bear this cross
to be received
in Heaven?
Is there a reason
I pray for strength
so that I may be more worthy,
more deserving,
when the judgment day comes.

I am a mother,
worried,
caring,
hoping for the best
catering to all,
barely a child myself,
bearing each experience
with borrowed strength,
selflessly focused
outward
drawing, drawing,
from a well
seldom replenished.
Tired,
oh so, tired.

I am an old woman,
frail yet wise,
enduring the rough ride,
surrendering to the knocks
knowing that as in all things
this too shall pass.
I am silent,
guarding my wisdom
for the imploring only,
acknowledging the value
in each journey
in each interpretation,
knowing that in the end
we are all deluded
and that the destination
is in the here and now
not tomorrow
not at the end of some dusty trail.
In each moment we have arrived
and so have I.
Patient and accepting.
Life is as it is.
Amen.

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