Shelley Timberlake


Mandela exits his tiny cell
twenty seven years locked in;
adequate time and then some
to ponder life, its passing.

He found, beyond pain,
beatings, losses, and regret:
that elusive “forgiveness”
Buddhist-like, that yet

Provides light to others,
those who wish to see.
How moral, strong: compassion is
understanding culled from misery.

To recognize in others
their pains and joys: like mine
creates a place for healing
wounds that stretch through years of time.

Submitted for the September 2011 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Forgiveness