Literary Hook: Poem explores ‘bittersweet nectar’ of perseverance

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

Those of us who are older than 50, or in my case older than 60, know the things we achieve are often the result of hanging in there or showing up. Sure, there’s some good luck from time to time, but mostly things happen because we stick with them. Feel free to bring your own interpretation to this new poem, which is scheduled to be published in The Alleluia Tree from Puddin’head Press.


One day you see that you have crossed

the long, thin bridge of decades,

walking to the beat of the steadfast

drummer who runs the show

to the orchard on the other side.

Now pick the ripened fruit.

Bite into what you have reaped,

savoring each crunch,

and the bittersweet nectar.

You will not be expelled.

Because you have been true,

the garden is returned to you.

Christine Swanberg has published about 300 poems in 70 journals and anthologies. She teaches writing at The Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin, and gives workshops and readings thoughout the United States.

From the Nov. 16-22, 2011, issue

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