Empathy. ~ Susan Frybort {Poem}

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Today I woke feeling my ordinariness next to me.

I never wrote a masterpiece, painted a perfect landscape
or played an etude.
I cannot beat the African healing drum like a shaman
to intercede between the realms.
I don’t know how to touch people to resolve them of all their inner conflict or traumas.
I never looked into a crystal and saw the divine…
I’m not a psychologist,
a therapist, a counselor or a saint.
And Das is not part of my name,
my name is ordinary.
As I thought about how the opportunity to tend to a painful wound
as if it were an injured plant
or delicately administer soothing salve to another earthly soul
would not be mine because I do not possess the official requirements,
I felt a particular sadness,
as though I were, somehow, not enough.

Then suddenly I remembered everything is well within me.

For I know that all my certainties
and all that has ever been established before me
are in sacred correspondence.
I know about the stars and how they gather as constellations
to guide the wanderer through all the eras.
I know of the bamboo that will not flower until many years pass by
and how the blossom gives its life as nourishment and protection
so that the tiny seedling within may push forward and grow.
I know there are mysteries not fully understood.
I know each life holds a unique path,
eventually drawing to an end for all.

And when I sat at the bedside of an elderly woman dying,
or on my knees next to a fading animal struggling for her last breaths
after a long earthly journey,
there was no difference in my attentiveness.
I felt equal compassion for both,
then wept the same mournful tears.

And I know for certain that when I look into another human being,
whether they have eyes to see or not,
I can behold them.

I can view the hurt in them and feel the wounds in me.
It is a pain that agonizes quietly inside
as we share it…
So I reach out to comfort them.
These are the opportunities to extend
and touch another soul with all that is in me now.

And that is good enough for me.


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About Susan Frybort

Susan Frybort is a tailor poet living in Indianapolis, Indiana. She weaves cloth as she weaves words, into delicate delights. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry, soon to be published.


10 Responses to “Empathy. ~ Susan Frybort {Poem}”

  1. Benjamin says:

    one of the most compassionate pieces of writing i have ever read.

  2. Oriah says:

    Beautiful Susan- heart-opening words. Thank you.

  3. Dana says:

    Beautiful… I am so touched deep within my soul, tears stream down my face in complete understanding of your words.. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece of writing.

  4. Paula says:

    This writer is hardly ordinary. What a stirring piece of work. This is the kind of poetry I look for and can seldom find. The real kind.

  5. Jocelyn Johnson says:

    Namaste Susan. : )

  6. Sasha says:

    the next Mary Oliver…

  7. Heather Lowry says:

    Written by a dear friend! She always amazes me!! Susan very eloquently written!! You have touched my heart once again.

  8. Steven Rosen says:

    Susan has a magic touch. She is Das and Dasi, rolled into one, and creatively eloquent in her presentation…

  9. Vlad says:

    This poem is so beautiful that it led to Susan's first book deal. Elephant Journal rocks.

  10. Kat says:

    Thank you for that healing balm.

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