No matter how your sadness aches,
degrees of misery exist:

what separates these levels then?
Do you really think you know?

It's not the depth of papercuts
nor the number of crushed bones.

It's not how bitterly you weep,
nor the fierceness of your curse.

Are you caught up in a sum?
Decline to guess beyond a gain?

It's not how much you lost or hurt:
no quantity in sorrow's weight.

It's a measure of your soul:
where and why you go when worse.

Do you run? Could you escape?
Can you kneel? Will you pray?

Did the price of pain exceed your faith?
And can you say you still believe?

Degrees © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

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Submitted: February 28, 2019