Devon Balwit

The Lesson of Ilmarinen 

Before you feed your forge,
consider why—

otherwise, though ductile,
your metal will cool

bent, your golden crossbow
ever-hungry for blood,

the prow of your shining
ship locked towards war,

your bright ox belligerent,
all hoof and horn,

your shimmering plow
uprooting fields—

and by the time you work
your gleaming mill,

you, too heartsick
to knead its grain,

its salt seasoning only

Sometimes even the greatest struggle delivers something bent. Devon Balwit never stops believing in the next time.