A poem by Tricia McCallum entitled Hard Won. Photo of a woman from behind climbing subway stairs.

Hard Won

There is no glory in suffering.
Father Blackwell got it all wrong.

Ask the young martyrs
How much good ever came from their deprivation,
Their unspeakable deaths.
The suicide bomber looking up at a cloudless blue sky on his final walk.
What is his family’s honor to him then.
My father, grasping at air for his tissue paper lungs,
Graciously succumbing,
What greater good was ever served.

The faithful dog who licks his master’s hand
Only to be beaten again.
The teenage mother who surrendered her baby girl from her hospital bed,
When she passes a young woman in a stairwell years later,
And stares into a face hauntingly like her own,

Ask her
As her heart breaks yet again,
Who did as she was told,
Where is the glory now?

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2 Responses

  1. This poem really shakes me out of the magnolias Tricia. I too remember Father Blackwell’s homily about our suffering here on earth,” the brightest crown worn in heaven has been tried, polished and glorified through suffering.” I agree totally-he got it wrong. As I see it, meaningless suffering is intolerable, life destroying and makes us lose more than just our perspective. Love this poem, especially,” Where is the glory now?”

  2. Yes, Jill. May glory come to us in other ways. Any other ways. As ever you contribute unique and particularly thoughtful commentary to the work I share.

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Tricia McCallum

Always be a poet. Even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire.

In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. Put simply, I write the poems I want to read.[…]

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