what weary path is this,
made of brambles and shadows,
serpentine darkness and spirits?
I see the path is worn
and beaten down by heavy soles.
I see the hardships and sorrows,
the weight of crushing cares
and the smooth stones worn smooth
by constant pilgrimage.
I bring with me my own troubles.
They swirl about me, leaping forward,
dragging behind, pulling me left and right.
But I also carry a flickering light,
a fragile, gentle flame I carry
within my chest.
The flame is too dim
to light my way,
but it gives me warmth
for it is a beacon
that says “me too”
and replies “you too”
and connects me
to the other pilgrims
on this weary and
Painting by Georges Rouault, from the Miserere series, 1914-1927