Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Survivor

We hold it against you that you survived.
People better than you are dead,
but you still punch the clock.
Your body has wizened but has not bled

its substance out on the killing floor
or flatlined in intensive care
or vanished after school
or stepped off the ledge in despair.

Of all those you started with,
only you are still around;
only you have not been listed with 
the defeated and the drowned.

So how could you ever win our respect?--
you, who had the sense to duck,
you, with your strength almost intact
and all your good luck.

Credit


From The Long Meadow by Vijay Seshadri. Copyright © 2004 by Vijay Seshadri. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Author


Vijay Seshadri

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954 and came to America at the age of five.

Date Published: 2004-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/survivor