Just To Be In Skin Deserves A Medal

by Arthur Mampel

People are heroic!
All people.
Just to be in skin
deserves a medal.

The doctor scores the patient:
"Can he sit up from his bed,
Can he tie his shoes,
brush his teeth,
go to the bathroom,
comb his hair?
Can he do the A.D.L.’s?"

Activities of Daily Living
require an insistence,
a will to live,
a desire for breath.

Take what life may send,
but not death’s finality.
We are, after all, eternal souls,
and the dark, no matter how
desperate or severe,
cannot stomp out the spirit.

People must know it is true,
or else, why not quit?
Why continue the madness,
the unholy, empty pursuit,
the bold, repeated refusal?

The pulse of the human heart
is resilient, refusing
anything less than life.

People are a strange anomaly;
a human, spiritual fire
that will not be quenched.

Push them to the wall,
nail them to a tree,
hang them by their toes,
and they will still refuse death.

People are heroic!
All people.
Just to be in skin
deserves a medal.

Arthur Mampel in Seattle and is Pietisten's poet laureate.

See all articles by Arthur Mampel