by the water’s edge,

by the water’s edge,
holding it in is still more
noble than letting
it out. you show
me this by way of
example, the centuries
of men and women –
fathers and mothers,
daughters and sons
friends and lovers –
who by day held
their struggles
humming within
the palms of their
hands and by night
plunged them into
waters as deep as their
breaths, coming up
for air, whispering
only into the gaps
between the stories
that were meant
to be told, passed on



    • yi-ching lin

      depending on the circumstance, holding it in can be the more self-sacrificial choice. one is choosing to swallow one’s selfish need to vent, let go, “clear one’s conscience,” and maybe if you’re religious, be closer to god? (e.g., confessions of sinners).

      perhaps, it takes some forward-looking questioning to determine what is the right choice because oftentimes, there are other people’s lives and hearts and happiness to consider, for example: how will knowledge affect the other parties? what is the impact it will have? will this knowledge harm someone if i DON’T share? am i only doing it to feel better about myself? if i don’t, will i still be a functioning person who doesn’t make everyone around me feel miserable? (smile).

      to struggle internally is to learn about oneself. and perhaps, after some questioning, one may decide that being silent may not be the right choice. we are all biased, but if we can weigh every answer as honestly as we are able, that’s all that we can do. and life is short – some things, you have to say, to not miss the opportunity. while other things may be better left unsaid. it sounds black and white, but like most things, is probably more gray.

      • gerbilette

        Thank you for this well-thought out response. It reminds me of “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” by Amy Tan. Also, this poem came at a time when I was wrestling with things (as I usually am). So danke, mucho, for your input. And please continue to write and express the world as you do.

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