When the End Comes - Alice Walker


When the end comes

We realize

Everything we’ve heard

About it

Is true.

Betrayal does feel

Like being shot.

Parting abruptly

Or for weird reasons

Does cause the heart to ache.

The mind is occupied

By a foreign foreign army


Of pain.

There is nowhere to go

Inside this pain;

We are too deeply


Into it.

Nothing to hope for

To wait for

But Time

Was it ever this slow


Did it ever creep

So casually

As we begin

To die?

But wait.

I can tell you

That the very slowness

Of time

Is the greatest

Of gifts:

That is when you begin

To grow yourself


From the tiny seed

Of self denigration

You may have discovered

Clinging to the hard rock

Of despair.

The distance between

The rock

And you smiling unafraid


Seems vast.


With time,

And time alone

You will cross that ocean

Of broken hopes

Broken dreams;

You will begin to glimpse

A future self


It will delight and surprise you

You will begin to understand

Ancient wisdom

About doorways

And necessary travel

As you begin

Your journey

Toward your own

Until now unimagined


And further shore.

-Alice Walker