You have grit

My professor told me


My whole life has been

Scraping against this grit

Hoping it winnows me down

Into something sharp

A weapon honed


Or maybe sands me down

Like a river rock

In a seasoned tumbler

Arising with a smooth surface

All my rough edges eroded


This is grit

Carried with me

From the singing creeks

That crafted my childhood

From the silt and small creatures

The beckoned us to play


It has traveled

From the edges of gravel roads

Where hollers became rodeos,

Or music theatre, the natural world our stage

which morphed to fit our fledgling dreams


It comes from unmarked hiking trails

Unclaimed or cursed lands

Hidden and abandoned buildings

Places we shouldn’t be

But youth caused us to crave


We were raised to collect such grit

To find and adopt the forgotten or despised

To let it mark us in its myriad of ways

We who give into the backroads calling

We who’ve not forgotten that both

A sparkling spring

And a murky pond

Can baptize the same