By E. D. Lloyd-Kimbrel

after Mary

I will teach you,
she said,
to be ruthless.
can be achieved
no other way.
She said.
You will learn
to sharpen
and cut,
to do the hard prune.
You will be acolyte
to gardeners
to butchers
to desert saints.
She said.
must be reduced
to hard bone
so pale in the moonlight
that it glows
with naked sanctity.
She said.
You are
She said.
weakness lurks
softness lingers
compromise leans in
and your grip loosens.
You are in debt.
You owe to yourself
the sinew
the essence
the abandonment of all
except the elemental.
She said.
Keep nothing
that gentles
that sings regret.
Keep only that
which is harsh in its purity.
You must be great,
she said,
because anything else
is not enough.
is enough.
I said.
I will stay as I am.
I said.
And so I was ruthless after all.

About the author:

E. D. Lloyd-Kimbrel (whose car masquerades as a branch library) has been writing for quite a while. Over the years, in-between various employments and academic endeavors, geographical locations and life events, she has published biographical, critical, and scholarly articles and essays along with an assortment of poems and creative non-fiction.

Photo by Octavian Dan on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Ruthless

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