You Never Can Tell What Stage You’re At

You Never Can Tell What Stage You’re At

You cannot tell what stage you’re at.
You simply cannot see it.
Oh, you can compare,
Sometimes aware of highs and lows,
The glows in others and yourself,
But deep inside, where knowledge grows
In secret, by accumulation – there
Where flaws are balanced out,
Leaps are made and hurdles cleared
Through secret routes, unknown
To even he who owns the lot –
There, where they’re first set and graded,
Met then faded out –
It’s there to which there’s no access
And it’s of little use to guess
What’s going on, while what is going on goes on. Oh yes,
You think you know yourself;
You see results and where you’ve failed or sailed through:
That’s you alright: partial you;
A hidden, most potential you.
You never know your stage.
But if you’re very good and kind – a little sage,
You get a glimpse of things to come;
Hints that you’ve removed the scum;
A tiny slice no longer slum,
And just enough to keep you crowing,
The best is to keep on going,
Concentrating on a something
You don’t even know is there;
So elusive that you’d swear
It never was, except for books: saints,
Men and women: claimants –
Just like you – who won.

You Never Can Tell What Stage You’re At 3.23.1995/reworked 4.11.2018 Definitely Didactic; Arlene Corwin

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