HOPE IS A BITCH

Daughter of desire, sensuous slut, a bastard by egotist pride,
midwifed by the pimps who sell the seeker
keys of promise to a glorious tomorrow,
Hope is a bitch, the mother of disappointment.

There is a point beyond all chance,
all possibility of action, decision, or salvation
where you know your life is forfiet,
and you are without hope.
In that place heroes have found their selfless glory --
martyrs have found their serene self-sufficiency --
and fools have laughed in the face
of their own deadly folly.
But while you still have hope you might survive,
you still have something left to lose,
and you fear for your life with every cell.
Daughter of mortal attachment and spiritual ignorance,
Hope is a bitch, the mother of fear.

Do we not each pray for insight, the wit or intuition
to see inside the souls of others, the undistorted truth?
Do we not yet also hide or flee in dread such light
be turned upon ourselves?
For do we not each conjur up and hide behind a mask
we hope to seem more perfect than the selves we know?
Prideful in such hypocrisy we posture to deceive,
and prideful to conceal our deception from ourselves,
we hope the souls we meet will truly prove to be
as they would have us see them.
Do we not make ourselves thereby the victims of delusion?
Daughter of vanity and flight into illusion
Hope is a bitch, the mother of deceit.

But Hope is sweet, you say, and filled with light,
and Hope brings joyful sunrise to each mundane eternal night,
a reason to believe something new is just beginning,
a reason to persist, to re-enlist, to bet your heart,
to cast your lot in the great long sacrifice again.
All true, all true. Hope is a bitch.
What's worse, she's a virgin -- every time.

1995 by James Nathan Post