Mercy

A Poem

313

I have always considered love to be the
    greatest gift from humanity to life.

I have believed that, when life exalts,
    and, even if life fails, love will have

Been life’s greatest accomplishment,
    and Man’s contribution to the universe.

Suddenly, here, near my end, an epiphany:
    Mercy! The gift of mercy:

Freely giving everyone the benefit of doubt,
    an assumption of, if not innocence,

Of mitigating facts—of truths—of “whys”,
    such that no one need be punished.

Love is generous, but, self-serving.
    Love, usually, seeks reciprocity,

A little something back to the giver…
    in other words, not really free.

Mercy, on the other hand, carries
    the implication of giving up revenge,

Giving away the satisfaction of justice,
    and of not punishing for being human.

Mercy asks for nothing in return….
    All we can do with Mercy is pass it on.

The gift of mercy allows the recipient
    to go on being himself,

And forces us to go on living in the world
    as it really is…or, maybe, with love.

A Hill resident, the author believes that the appreciation of art should not be influenced by the vagaries or prejudices of biography.