Life Lessons

A Limit Learned Late In Life

Felix Dennis
May 18, 2014
Mandalay, Mustique
Unpublished
Arrow
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A limit learned late in life—perhaps too late:
Other people’s emotions do not matter.
Oh, we pretend they do, heaping up a plate
Of store-bought empathy, some showy platter
With little nourishment but mordant guilt.
We live in a bubble; sinner, clod and saint,
But secretly, do we not wish we’d built
A fortress that walls out heart-sick complaint?
Friendship matters, lovers and family,
They count for much; but not their inner pain,
Feigned or real; nor those who will not see
Our crying need to breathe free air again.
 Each bubble an impenetrable sphere,
 With no balm known to salve another’s fear.

Suggested by a line at the end of ‘A Little White Death’
by John Lawton, (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998)