Good of Service: A Poem

So, here I am. Again:
back in my chair
with my pen in my hand,
determined to drag it out,
kicking and screaming,
by the hair if I have to:
the TRUTH.

Here I am, in pain again,
consorting with anger.
The muscles in my jaw contract;
the tips of my incisors ache
to rip and tear apart
the curtain between me
and TRUTH.

But is there a need to bleed?
I hope not.
I should rest, cool my engines, then


Ok; I’m chilled out now.
Where to begin?

I cannot begin at the beginning;
I lost that long ago.
So, I begin at the end:
I am full of rage.

Rage I need, I believe, to save me
from depression’s dark paralysis.
Before the rage, there was depression,
I recall.
I remember how
the pain bound me in a straight-jacket
while the world yet waited
for me to tie my shoes and begin
another day. No

They wanted me to leave my home and,
in some strange land, take a stand,
weapon in hand and
kill or be killed.

It was very clear: no thought was required.
I was not to think it through first. No, I
was just expected to
do it. I

They then rejected me,
for the good of their service, and I
was supposed to believe:
there was something wrong with me;
not with them.

For a long time now, still I know
not what to believe. But, then as now,
one thing was, and is, certain: I
will not allow myself to kill
another being, be it human or not,
unless I know, beyond a doubt,
that it is right
to do so.

Of that I was and am still sure.
But they were not prepared
to let me think it through. No, I
was just expected to
do it.
No. Way.
I refused.


Before that, there was school;
a place where I was trained
and strained past the breaking points
clicking like prayer beads, one
against the other,
along the thread of time.

School, a place
before time, out of time, where I
was expected
to dance to their tunes,
sing their songs,
crack their books,
and flee from shame as bugs might from the light
finding the over-turned playground rock,
only to be crushed
under the feet of young bullies.

School, a place
where discipline is by disgrace
and you are to learn your place.
A place where there is no place
to hide when they laugh in your face.

School is for my own good,
they said.
Looking back now, I think: not.
I think:
school is only for the good
of their service.

Published in: on December 15, 2008 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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