gilt-edged leaf

“A Song for the Hopeless”

by Vernie Lynn DeMille

There is a space and time in each existence,

be it man, woman, or child, where all promises feel broken.

Where the edges of those broken dreams,

spun and woven from the finest threads of faith,

turn sharp and cut at the dreamer with more accuracy than a blade of steel.

Some come to that broken place through sickness or grief,

or perhaps through betrayal and disillusionment;

but no matter the route taken,

there is only one thing there for them: pain.

.

.

It is a pain like no other.

It is the pain that drives an alcoholic to his next drink,

the gambler to his next game,

the adulterer to his next assignation,

the forlorn into their hiding places where even sorrow feels like solace.

.

.

There is a depth and breadth

to hopeless despair

that is nearly beyond comprehension

and yet so often remains unseen.

.

.

The hopeless walk amongst the crowd

with their smile intact,

or at least a facsimile of a smile.

And alongside them,

in an emotional, spiritual, mental realm,

that none but they can see, runs a deep chasm.

Bottomless, dark, and terrifying.

.

.

It is the dark space

where all those once bright dreams have gone,

flowing like a black waterfall

over the edge into a thundering silence

that fills the heart, the mind, and the soul.

.

.

“Begin again.”

The call whispers up from the mists that cover the bottom of that fall.

.

.

“Begin again.”

It calls as you walk the path of least resistance:

do the job, run the errands, pay the bill, cook the food.

.

.

“Begin again.”

And the hopeless soul looks over the edge,

into the darkness where their dreams have gone,

and wonders if the risk of beginning

will be their death or a new life.

.

.

Experience screams,

with a voice hoarse from years and agony,

that to try is to fail

and to dream is to die

just a little more each day.

.

.

Hope is…beyond reach.

It is the gilded edge of a broken leaf,

barely moved by a breath of autumn wind;

a tremor, a shine, and then an awful, shadowed stillness.

The hopeless soul sees it, the idea of another dream,

and feels it in the marrow of their bones;

where it aches and burns in a place too deep for bleeding.

It is a beauty so rare, so fleeting,

and the hopeless are just too tired

to keep looking for gold in the fickle wind.

.

.

But hope is patient and persistent.

Where the hopeless would stay hidden,

the voice of hope pushes in unwanted, to torment and tease.

.

.

“Begin again,”

it whispers and this time

it flashes a bit of its gilt-edged glory into that space of darkness.

In the midst of chores, daily grind, and drudgery,

where dead dreams can be cremated

and the ashes of an old life scattered

to the four winds or to Hell, wherever they prefer,

so long as they stay dead and trouble us no more;

into the midst of that life,

silent of any stray discontent,

the voice whispers.

Like a song known once and barely remembered,

or a longed for flavor only half tasted,

it sneaks in, light as air and pushes, just a bit,

on the heart.

.

.

It is a lullaby,

little more than a breath,

that flutters along the skin.

And deep in the darkness,

where the heart of the hopeless truly lives,

it surely and silently

breathes oxygen onto the embers

of an unquenchable spark.

.

.

God seeks His own.

.

.

Within you, in a hidden place

where even pain is afraid to look,

He lives.

.

.

He lives

in that tiny flame of life that burns on.

He placed that song in your heart at your beginning

and He remembers the words even when you cannot.

He calls,

with the voice of hope,

and He will keep calling

for as long as necessary.

.

.

That is His gift to the hopeless.

There is nowhere so dark,

so fallen,

so deep,

or so empty

where you can hide your hurt,

your lost dreams

and your grief

where He will not find you,

and sing you home.

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