we’ve, all of us,
been kicked when 
we are down

but there are
on the way
down, too

and kicks when
we are upright,
minding our own business

kicks from behind,
cheap shots,
kicks to the face

kicks from loved ones,
kicks from strangers

hell, we even kick ourselves
from time to time

we start out with
the bright, untarnished
of a child

and end as broken,
re-broken and
mended again

adults who
still feel
what’s left
of that

bright, untarnished
heart, still
beating in spite
of itself