“The angels out there, / what are they?” —Stephen Dunn

Is it the tangible
consequences of our
actions against which we are
weighed or is it the intention
behind our daily fumblings?

When we say that
we’re looking to our
better angels, I wonder
how much we mean it.

Are we, really? Or do
we keep them ethereal
and on another plane
of existence to excuse
our bad behavior?

Speaking only for
my own flawed self
broken along fault lines
visible only from the inside out

I know I want to want
to be better, but that is
not the same as striving

or the grunt work that
is actually doing.
I have neither harp
nor halo, nor white
plumed wings.



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