Hard Lessons

Hard lessons fall with the vicious joy of an innocent child
Like raindrops the size of my head
Falling through a forest of razors
Hard lessons fall from staggering heights
Through the cold empty air
Onto unprotected hearts
Hard lessons come in the middle of the night
In the middle of a meal
In the middle of a conversation
In the middle ages
Hard lessons wait in the rising weeds
patiently
to grab, to trip, to pull me down
        to their level
Hard lessons, from a distance, look like easy ones
        like practical jokes
        expecting laughter
        confused by tears
I breathe in hard lessons like ice to my lungs
And breathe out unwanted wisdom

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