by Jo Taylor

Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break;
but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.
Marcus Aurelius

I’ve always thought myself stouthearted
not easily bruised, able to turn from those 
who splinter the world with their hoary
wisdom and know-it-all pride, those 
Job-like friends descanting about what 
it means to live. But today I am faint,
tired of turning. I need something,
somebody, to teach me steadfastness 
in the middle of the storm. Perhaps 
the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, 
persevering through extreme conditions
to live thousands of years; scripture’s 
Mother Rizpah in the desert, keeping
a six-month vigil over the bodies
of her slain sons; the Golden Rule, 
holding truth without turning or shadow. 
Maybe Keats’ lone star with its eternal lids
in the night sky or the sun moving through 
the heavens in its dawn-to-dusk ritual or
the rocky cliff waiting, even inviting, 
the thrashing waves.

Jo Taylor is a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia.  Her favorite genre to teach high school students was poetry, and today she dedicates more time to writing it, her major themes focused on family, place, and faith. She says she writes to give testimony to the past and to her heritage. In 2021 she published her first collection of poems, Strange Fire.  She enjoys walking in early morning, playing with her two grandsons, and collecting and reading cookbooks. 

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