porcelain figures, ea. approx. 6-7″h



This evening
A broken man
With a trembling hand
Approached my dog and me
With wet eyes.

He wore dirty camo
and drove a pretty Harley
To shield himself
From a world of noise
No longer sweet to him.

He gently petted Emma
With the tenderest of touch
Only looking to me
To show off his own beloved dog
On the phone.

I somehow knew
He loved that dog
So much
Because he’d lost
The ability to love all of us.

He went to war
But he broke.
This gentle man lost the choice
To love
When and whom he wanted.

I know a lot more
About freedom
Sitting in this wheelchair
Than I did
When I wasn’t.

Today Elie Wiesel died.
He survived Auschwitz
Because he kept choosing
Attitudes that fed him;
And others.

He knew
Our attitude
Is all
We can ever hope
To control.

I know
My attitude
Is all
I can ever hope
To control.

My friend, the vet
In too many places
To count on his consciousness
To save him.

He paid parts of his mind
For us
To have many
Of the choices we now enjoy.
I roll away with damp eyes.

We are only rich
If we remember
Those who got us here
By staring down
The bogeyman.

I am blessed
Because I know
I can change my mind.
There are those here among us
Without that ultimate privilege.
I bow.


-CATHY ATEN 2016 July

What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It’s close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically. Elie Wiesel


4 Responses to “Freedom”

  1. CaroleZoom on July 2nd, 2016

    Beautiful observations. Thank you for sharing these insights with us.

  2. Jennifer on July 3rd, 2016

    Absolutely lovely and so insightful, as always. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Rita Kindl Myers on July 4th, 2016

    Thank you for the poem. It is insightful and I enjoyed reading it. I love how people open themselves up to a dog, meanwhile we shield ourselves from each other. Possibly because dogs do not judge; people are too quick to judge.

  4. Adele on July 4th, 2016

    Thank you Cathy for our daily bread xxx

Leave a Reply