Ask me again what I offered as a sacrifice to the rooster crowing his betrayal of morning. Forgiveness, what a sharp blade I press my body hard against.”
—Marci Callabretta Cancio-Bello’s “In the Animal Garden of My Body” from the Poem-a-Day series, Academy of American Poets
I’ve been thinking about these last two lines of Cancio-Bello’s poem, mulling forgiveness and the sacrifice it entails—the relinquishment of pride, anger, righteous suffering—and reflecting on forgiveness and pain, that “sharp blade” that so often is a twofold ache, a recollection of the initial external hurt (whatever action entailed forgiveness in the first place) combined with the agony wrought by bringing oneself to forgive.
Forgiveness is hard. About her own poem, Cancio-Bello said, “I have spent a lifetime studying forgiveness and am constantly humbled by how complicated, impossible, and necessary it is to every memory.” [Read more…]