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Photo by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

Reason arrives late,
Long after the likes of Sorrow,
Anger and Self-Pity,
Who rush in,
Wreaking havoc,
Making noise,
With no regard
For anything,
Or anyone but themselves,
A rowdy rabble,
They trash the place,
And left unchecked,
Would live in the squalor
They have created.

Reason arrives late,
Trundling in with slow, measured steps,
It casts a critical eye over the scene,
Heaves a weary sigh,
And gets to work,
Restoring order,
Bringing calm,
It dries the eyes of Sorrow,
Reassures Disappointment,
Soothes Anger,
And picks Self-Pity up off the floor,
It listens to their grievances,
And doesn’t dismiss them,
But helps them to process
The reasoning behind them.

Reason arrives late,
But it doesn’t come alone-
One by one it brings in other guests,
It introduces Anger to Empathy,
Self-Pity to Perspective,
And Sorrow to Hope,
They mingle-
Now it is Anger’s turn to listen,
Disappointment’s turn to nod along,
And little by little
They all come round-
Their identities have not changed,
Nor have they departed,
But now they are tempered
With Understanding.

Reason arrives late,
But once arrived,
It does not leave,
Its work cannot be undone,
It can relax now,
Safe in knowledge
That Anger will not flare up,
Nor Self-Pity regress
To a sulking heap,
All is calm,
This peaceful cohabitation made permanent,
And with a satisfied smile,
Reason retreats to a quiet corner
To wait it out,
Until the next mess.

Written by

Lauren Phillips is a language teacher and writer with a deep love of words in all their forms. She uses writing to help her process her own tangled thoughts.

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