Poetry by David Kherdian: “I didn’t want to protect myself”

Armenian-American poet David Kherdian has written over 70 books and edited three major anthologies of ethnic American literature. His most recent publications are the memoir Root River Return (Beech Hill Publishing, 2015) and Living in Quiet: New and Selected Poems (Deerbrook Editions, 2013).┬áReviewer Ricker Windsor said of Kherdian’s work: “He grasps and is able to express the most important feelings, those that constantly escape the net of expression…David Kherdian’s poetry is evocative of past time, of a simpler world, of memory we can taste”.

This poem speaks to me of how I would like to live, if I had the courage: with an open heart, gratitude, and faith. At a time when complex creeds leave me cold, these are words to refresh my soul. David has kindly given me permission to share it here.

I didn’t want to protect myself

I didn’t want to protect myself
by seeking perfection against the
accidental onslaughts of time–
but instead to move imperfectly
through it all, not to be the best
or the only, or the one to watch,
but rather the beggar of mercy
and grace, finding new hope
in each disappointment
believing against reason
(against what the senses
said could not be) that there
was an order beyond this
disorder, that there was
a truth beyond this lie:
and that I was included
in its design,
that could not be seen
or named
but could be believed in,
if one believed that one
was loved.

 

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