What You Have to Get Over

Physically ChallengedThe Poetry Foundation featured a group of classic and contemporary “Get Well Soon” poems in their March 28th newsletter. Under the category of “Healing,” I found a gem by Dick Allen, the current poet laureate of Connecticut. Here are some excerpts that spoke to me.

If you have a chronic illness, degenerative disease or love someone who does, Mr. Allen’s words might speak to you as well.

What You Have to Get Over (excerpts)

by Dick Allen

Stumps. Railroad tracks. Early sicknesses,

the blue one, especially.

Your first love rounding a corner,

that snowy minefield….

You have to get over your resentments,

the sun in the morning and the moon at night,

all those shadows of yourself you left behind

on odd little tables….

If you would recover,

you have to get over the shattered autos in the backwoods lot

to that bridge in the darkness

where the sentinels stand

guarding the border with their half-slung rifles,

warned of the likes of you.


I pray that the sentinels who guard the bridge to recovery will greet you, smile, and let you pass 🙂

To read the poem in its entirety, please visit The Poetry Foundation.


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