On Adversity

23 Nov

by Paul Hostovsky

I’m wishing now I’d read that book on adversity,
the one the blind mountain climber wrote
about climbing mountains and not looking back,
but looking straight ahead, or inward, or maybe
upward—I forget now where he said to look
in the face of adversity, because I only read the review
and the excerpt, and I don’t think that was enough
to see me through. Which is why I’m wishing now
I’d read that book on adversity when I had
the chance, now that I have no chance, no net, barely
a toehold and the ropes have gotten twisted
round my neck. I could use that book right
about now. And yet I wonder, even if I had
read that book, would I have the wherewithal to look
where it said to look? Would I remember to do
what it said to do, to clinch salvation in a pinch? I think
not. I think there is no way to prepare for this. This is not
a test. Though some will pass with flying colors.
And for others falling will be a kind of flying.

Paul Hostovsky is a sighted Braille instructor in Boston. He is also the author of three books of poetry, Bending the Notes (2008), Dear Truth (2009), and A Little in Love a Lot (2011). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009. To read more of his work, visit his website at www.paulhostovsky.com .


2 Responses to “On Adversity”

  1. Magda Rodriguez November 23, 2011 at 5:06 PM #

    This is a wonderful poem. How many times have I had ropes twisted around my neck! Keep up the wonderful work. The posts are always a pleasure to read.

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