Endurance

Neither the angel nor the fox
have all the answers.

The fox’s wisdom may turn out to be
of no earthly use.

The angel’s shimmerings may come
to beggar belief.

As their voices fade, I find myself alone
with my own reckonings,

and with old and unsolved mysteries –
the pain of what’s beyond redress;

the anguish of what’s beyond remedy.
“How long?”“How deep?” – “How far?”

Scale and degree bewilder, terrify.
Affliction’s like a flood –

whole provinces despoiled –
earth drenched with tears.

The fox will not dig deep enough,
nor the angel rise to the challenge.

In the fox’s philosophy,
what cannot be circumvented

cannot be comprehended. And
endurance, unrewarded, has no place

for the angel. In the last resort,
there are questions which they cannot face.

– David Morphet 2003