Something there is that makes us first believe
we are not good enough or big enough
or strong enough, our standing to achieve
and all our paths will wind the ways most rough.
Some other thing is also near and asks
without responses sharp or stinging fists
or cruel jabbing back, to join our tasks
and future routes will with success assist.
Not only must we guard against despair
of outside actions that would tear us down
but daily mount defense to not compare
our good within with good of other’s crown.
Our bullies want us to believe both lies
of no escape from lows, no rest from highs.
~Against Despair, a birthday sonnet for Eric Dale Eubanks, by Robert Stone