Evening Poetry, March 3

My Worst Habit

by Rumi

My worst habit is I get so tired of winter

I become a torture to those I’m with.

If you’re not here, nothing grows.

I lack clarity. My words

tangle and knot up.

How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.

How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,

dig a way out through the bottom

to the ocean. There is a secret medicine

given only to those who hurt so hard

they can’t hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,

no matter whether that friend is moving away from you

or coming back toward you.

You can find this poem in The Essential Rumi.