Poem a Day #2 – The Third Thing

with deep thanks to Janet Aalfs for an amazing writing/movement workshop.

The Third Thing
1.2

There is fear and there is freedom
there’s the fear
and there’s the freedom
There’s the fear
and here’s the freedom
Here’s the fear
and there’s the freedom
And somewhere stands
the third thing

There is power and there is shame
There, power and here, shame
Here shame, there shame,
everywhere shame shame
And power is always there
there’s power over there
And shame is always here, hiding
from the third thing


Freedom cannot live where fear rules

WRONG
As you learn to embrace your power your shame
will fade and disappear

WRONG

The third thing is both things,
neither thing, anything
outside of easy answers
The third thing stands
at the junction of all other things
The third thing
isn’t compromise, may be
in the middle, but only
of another place altogether

There’s the fear and there’s the freedom
but here there is the freedom to fear
and still find freedom and fear here

There is power and there is shame
and then there is the third thing—
learning not to be ashamed
of power, not to be ashamed
of shame

There is this and there is that
Here I am—third thing
Pick or choose, win or lose
Deep breath in—third thing
On the one hand, on the other
Palms together—third thing
One step forward, one step back
Waiting, still—the third thing

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