This I Believe

Rita - Santa Monica, California
Entered on January 13, 2007
Age Group: 65+


I used to believe in

God and Country,

Being blond

or thin or rich or saintly.

Even this Los Angeles zealot

Had to learn that these are unsustainable

In ones eighth decade.

Deep in my soul I believed that those

who didn’t remember history

were bound to repeat it

Now I know they repeat it anyway.

I was a fanatic in the cult of unconditional love

Now they call that co-dependency.

Maybe there are no universal truths.

Just genes, clichés, timing, geography, luck

And the need to believe.

I believe in the need to believe.

I am a priestess

in the cult of hope.

Dare I trust this transition

into my 80th Birthday.

This final stage of an energetic life,

That feels hopeful and right.

Finally I get it:

I must find my sanity zones in a world

of too many choices, causes, and people to love.

I will take my time so that I am aware of its gift.

Maybe I’ll even learn

not to be motivated by guilt

Surely there is a higher calling

for taking the high road.

“What is she?” you ask, “a slow learner poet?”

“Maybe, but dear Goddess I have so few questions left.

Perhaps you will answer this one:

“Why do we each have to learn everything for ourselves

in our own time?

And then

Tell me that the essence of my Hope

is not a mood swing.”