Up on Top

by Olav Hauge

After stumbling a long time over impossible trails
you are up on top.
Hardship didn’t crush you, you trod it
down, climbed higher.
That’s how you see it. After life has tossed you
away, and you ended up on top
like a one-legged wooden horse on a dump.
Life is merciful, it blinds and provides illusions,
and destiny takes on our burden:
foolishness and arrogance become mountains and marshy places,
hate and resentment become wounds from enemy arrows,
and the doubt always with us becomes cold dry
rocky valleys.
You go in the door.
The pot lies upside down in the hearth,
it sprawls with hostile black feet.

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