All I Really Need

by Elayne Clift

All I really need
Is a room of my own (as Virginia said),
A quiet space for contemplation
and inquiry into one’s place in the world.
And time. Time, of course.
There is never enough of that.

Then, respite from rage,
from silent, imploding anger,
The railing against injustice and slights,
that fuel one’s sense of smallness,
A diminution so lethal to the soul
it demonizes and devours.

And freedom! Freedom from guilt,
and worse, from the judgement
of others, people who claim
to love unconditionally,
until, inadvertently, we disappoint.
Freedom to be, to say, to think, to feel,
To do -- and still be forgiven.

And why not a God who makes sense,
A world that feels safe and whole,
A generation, humane and genuine,
With a legacy of hope?
Beauty and Truth, of course,
as the great poet said,
and music, art, words.

Ultimately, then, a life well-lived,
without regret, so that looking back,
I see the light, and watching it fade,
whisper, with utter honesty,
Yes! Now there was a life!

Elayne Clift

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