A Poem: Joy is Bent

I’m good at pretending,
and so are we all.

But joy is bent,
and love oftentimes a strident noise,

of notes played off-key in
inexpert hands.

Yes, joy is bent,
not perfect,

or it could not be
in the relief

of a softened gaze
after a sharp retort,

or in the small crises that teach us
how love is forged through tears and smiles.

The touch that says,
‘we start again’,

that those we bruise and hurt
we kiss and heal.

For joy is bent
so that it returns again

and love is learned
that even those that feel the deepest

must learn to develop
the means of expression.

And even then,
love will sometimes hit a strident note

as a flute at the lips of one
still learning its art.

Yes, we’re good at pretending
that all’s well and together

when in truth all is broken
and re-mended.

And love both the calm before a storm
and the sun that shines after rain.

Joy is bent
that it returns again.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
December 2018




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