Once I was told that Hope

Is the sky filled with sunshine

That it spreads like light,

Floats like a helium filled balloon,

Dances like the tail of a kite.


I wondered at this metaphor

Sprawling amidst the wind

Like a howling current

Vibrating on the wings of

Birds that flap before they soar.



Can Hope be so far

Above my head

Where only flying things

Rise to tread

And I on the ground


Awaiting release

Of a treasure trove

Unlatched and

Spilling down?



What if Hope is more like rain—

A simile easier to attain—

It does not gently lie atop

The atmosphere but

Is conjured inside storms

Like a witch’s brew

Bubbling through with contents

Thrown into a fiery caldron

Until that time when

The pressure built, releases.



Storm-soaked orbs floating down

Subject to the whims of

Gusts above and around

Hollow of motivation

Innocent as they fall to the ground.

And we, in soggy shoes,

Choose to stay

In the rain


Let it penetrate

All the way through—

Some people run for cover

But not us

Not the dreamers

Or the lovers

Or the ones who understand

That the storms

Force the hands

Of Hope and of those

Stubborn in their wills

To see the brightness




In watery expectation.



My friend,

If they tell you

Hope is the sun

Smile, nod and

Move along

With squeaky shoes

Leaving tracks

On the ground

To be found by those

Who seek the courage to drown.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Gabriele Ahrens’ piece, Schietwetter.