Prose - The Other Side of the Gate

The Other Side of the Gate

There is another side to the gate
That for so long provided my shelter
I lived with the fortunate one's
I never knew real hunger

Even though there was no gate
There was one in my mind
Always running home to safety
Callously exploiting the comfort I'd find

But now I live on the other side
I see the oppression of my fears
The bitterness of being different
The anger mixed with tears

And yet dignity is revealed
With each passing moment
Those who have nothing
Live on despite their torment

The gay man who was rejected
By a father who was ashamed
The shuffle of the young man
Who to pain he remains chained

The old woman who shares her soft eyes
Even as she toils with the coming dawn
The men who wave as we drive by
Hoping to make green your lawn

With no apparent future to save
And no morning to smile about
These real faces give me their hand
Empty; because they must live without

My cup is suddenly full
With shame it begins to boil
I am learning how to live
And accept any small turmoil

The gate swings wide open
As I am at home with the meek
Living in a fantasy of accomplishment
This I no longer seek

As I shed material things
The eye of the needle widens
Suddenly I can see the light
As my heart gradually softens

It is I who is not worthy
It is I who is weak
It is I who can learn from them
It is their forgiveness that I seek...

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Comments 17 comments

Dink96 profile image

Dink96 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Beautiful and succinct. This is the balm for my seeming troubles this week. Indeed, my cup is full. Lovely poem. Say hi to Austin for me--especially Congress Avenue!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank you Dink... it's a true story about my life and the things I have experienced during a period of great change. I'll say hello to the city for you and it's a beautiful morning... Congress Avenue is alive and well...


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 6 years ago from Vermont, USA

It seems like something has pulled back the curtain for you to reveal the less idylic side of life. It can be a revelation.

This poem is a good description of an eye opening experience and a more empathetic attitude.

Welcome to the world.

CP


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I lived on the other side of the gate throughout most of my young life. I have felt the scorn of abuse and been a victim with sad eyes as a boy. I survived and moved forward with my life once I was freed from the madness in my boyhood home.

Many of my friends were not so lucky and ended up in the streets of despair, alcohol and drugs and continued the vicious cycle in their shattered lives. This is an excellent Revelation as Chris suggested and many will be uplifted by it. Thank you for sharing it.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Christopher and Saddlerider,

First, thank you for reading and commenting. Yes... things are a bit different for me as I have been forced to live in meager conditions due to an unfortunate marital situation (that's all I'll reveal about that). I grew up in an idyllic situation as a child in terms of love and stability but we were low middle class in terms of money. I went to college and lived in Dallas in the 80's and basically became a full-blown Yuppie and all that that implies. I now have children and a good job. So, I lived on the "good" side of the gate. Now, I'm with "the people" and the one's I described in the poem made contact with me and we talked. It is an eye-opener and despite the pain of my marriage I am blessed for this experience. If I have indeed arrived at the gate of the real world as Christopher suggests then I will say I am glad to be here...

And Saddlerider it's always sad to hear about someone who had a rough childhood. No child deserves to live in fear, abuse or a situation that makes them feel less than adequate. It hurts to think about....


Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 6 years ago from Arizona

Poet you've done it again! You have a gift to give and I am thankful that you share it with us!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank you Jeremey... what triggered the thing was the gay man who was cutting my hair and how he opened up to me about his relationship with his father. It was heartbreaking to hear how he had been rejected... I started to think about the others I'd encountered and it all came together....


scriber1 6 years ago

..."and yet dignity is revealed" can only be uttered by a dignified and realized man. And thus we are witness.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank you scribert... I only bring the truth of my travels to the table. These things are obvious to those who will take the time to stop, look and listen.


Mairdre profile image

Mairdre 6 years ago

I am deeply affected by this. The beauty of how well you write brings the message with a true, raw honesty. Hard to do - and very well done by you... thank you.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Those are strong words Mairdre... I only passed on my observations of life... there are so many who take what they have for granted. I knew a man who was quite successful (and let everyone know about it) and then lost his job. He had to go to counseling (not to bash counseling; just the reason he went)! I knew his wife and she said he had lost himself. His entire self-image was wrapped up in his personal success story. Then he got a new job and he was back to his old cocky self. It seemed he had nothing other than money. So to be around the strength of those who have nothing is a mind-altering experience.

There is an old song by Grand Funk Railroad with a memorable refrain:

"All you got is money."

Yeah.... and when that's gone these types of people who worship the God of Mammon find they have nothing. It's sad.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota

Thank you for sharing your view of life's stuggles past and present with us. You have a true gift of writing and I can tell it's healing for you. I hit many buttons here because this poem was so true and beautiful.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank you Minnetonka... it's been a great experience for me and it is rounding me out in a way that was sorely needed.


Pachuca213 6 years ago

thank you for sharing the revelations of your life. I hope that you have peace where you are now and keep writing wonderful poems like these, because I love them!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

I have my share of peace Pachuca... it's not realistic to expect things to go your way everyday. But I have been able to find blessings and insight in a situation that is creating worry for my family and friends. I adapt very easily to any situation because I have tried to shed expectation from my life... thank you for your comments...


Nayothara profile image

Nayothara 6 years ago

It is I who is not worthy

It is I who is weak

It is I who can learn from them

It is their forgiveness that I seek...

I love this part very much.

This is a deep deep song, and yes right to the hearts, heart what's reading it! How did you managed to see this other side? It is not easy, I wonder how long will we take for this change. I would love to experience this other side, because we all are tired of our selves I feel. Beautiful, and AWESOME HUB!

Cheers!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 6 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank you Nayomi,

I did not seek the other side of the gate but found myself there due to circumstance. When I relaxed and just lived I realized that I was arrogant. But I only realized it because I had existed with arrogant people. Hopefully others can learn to be humble and understanding without having to directly experience these things because sometimes we never get the chance.

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