Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Dominic Ellerbee" by John Reinhart, Frequent Contributor

Dominic Ellerbee
John Reinhart

there is a numb courage
to life; step & repeat

high school senior
on the radio –

do the best you can
in that moment

wrote & directed
a musical,

the music is always
there, orchestras in the pits

spent over a year – last
year – homeless

hum silently, gather in
your thoughts

“What kept you going
during that year?”

you never feel so alone
as when you wake

your sister snoring
beside you

feral children desperate
for direction, love

throughout – common currency
behind the masks

in millennia, little
fundamental has changed

we eat, we sleep –
together, yet more, more

alone, solo to the heart,
unfamiliar rhythm

Poet's Notes:  I heard this local interview on the local radio a few years back. Something about the story called up my own challenging times.  The interviewer asked Ellerbee, “What pulls us through these challenges? What lights our dark avenues to guide us through?”  What dumb questions! In the moment, faced with an uphill battle against the wind, the only answer is to keep breathing, to keep placing one foot in front of the other.

Courage is a prerequisite to facing life. We have distractions at every fingertip, but life's work consists of overcoming real hurdles. I am reminded of a Paul Goodman poem that ends "for ever our task is measured to our power." Perhaps this is faith in something beyond ourselves; perhaps it is trust in what we contain.

Editor’s Note:  Learn more about Ellerbee and his difficult yet inspiring life here: 

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