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A Daily Joy To Be Alive - Poem by Jimmy Santiago Baca (Jimmy Santiago Baca)

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No matter how serene things may be in my life, how well things are going, my body and soul are two cliff peaks from which a dream of who I can be falls, and I must learn to fly again each day, or die. Death draws respect and fear from the living. Death offers no false starts. It is not a referee with a pop-gun at the startling of a hundred yard dash. I do not live to retrieve or multiply what my father lost or gained. I continually find myself in the ruins of new beginnings, uncoiling the rope of my life to descend ever deeper into unknown abysses, tying my heart into a knot round a tree or boulder, to insure I have something that will hold me, that will not let me fall. My heart has many thorn-studded slits of flame springing from the red candle jars. My dreams flicker and twist on the altar of this earth, light wrestling with darkness, light radiating into darkness, to widen my day blue, and all that is wax melts in the flame- I can see treetops! Jimmy Santiago Baca

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