The Compassionate Way

I am not a saint,
not a hero.
I do not walk the shining path.
I stumble in the woods
running from the pain of others.

Suffering is a monstrous thing
with a fearful, bloody visage.
But deep within me
I know
the way to overcome the beast

begins
by not looking away.

When I do that,
I see looking back
the face of my own humanity.
And if I reach out
to the wretched soul,
the darkness is shattered
and the road to my salvation
rises up to meet me.

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