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Looking within

When I looked within two days ago,
I discovered that my chest was filled with broken glass,
Pain from the Holocaust and the vicious childhood,
Pain now accepted and welcomed,
Part of life— part of my story.

No longer overwhelmed,
It is now part of my narrative,
The story that helped me accept physical pain,
My mental illness—

All of the suffering less than the pain
Mordecai felt in Auschwitz,
His town all buried alive in Poland.
Friends and strangers gassed and burned
For the sole crime of being born Jewish.

My childhood? Grateful I survived it.
It has receded in memory,
Now fifty years in the past.
It helped me become compassionate.

Now I help men in AA who were battered children.
I help those with mental illness.
I work for justice,
And count God as a friend and ally,
And so much more,
Filling the universe with his passion.

Jason Reynolds
March 17, 2014

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