Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Restraining Order

 Duty bound me
To restrain myself
And not cast another
Sly gaze her way,
For if I did, I knew,
I just knew,
--I was a dead man.

The old men, who sat stoically round
The coal stove on wicked winter days,
Would speak of such a phenomenon.
They tried to warn me then,
But being a boy
I only half heard.

“There’ll be jus’ one, little lad
She’ll grab holda’ ya
Before ya ever know it,
And then, Lad, It’ll be too late.
You’ll carry’er for the rest of yer life.”

Another relic, then, would pipe in.
“Ya Boyo, it’ll only happen once
In yer life, so be on yer guard.”
Then, there was silence, save the
Sole sound of hard coal cracking.
Finally, affirmations of “Mmm-hmm”
Were passed around the circle
Like the big jug
From which they would slowly sip all day.

I hated when the Seniors became serious,
So, I would sit to the side, patiently,
Waiting for stories to start again.
They tried to warn me then,
But being a boy
--I only half heard.

Now, voices whisper sympathetically,
Prophets’ predictions from the past
Reaching the reality of this moment in time.
So, I did not look again,
--That day.

As our ships passed in the night,
I convinced myself I was a man,
And a strong-willed man has no fear.
I practiced increments of restraint,
That convinced me that I was in control.
I was a fool to flout the wisdom,
For when warned,
I was but a boy,
And I only half heard.

On a December day,
I cast control to the curb,
And I stared straight into the
Sweet abyss,
And I fell,

When chains come unbound
Freedom is a beautiful thing,
And with wild abandon
We roamed together, freely,
Through that strange terrain,
A momentary kingdom.
But, we only half listened to
Our own warnings, when we
Promised we would practice

When logic prevails,
It can be a good thing,
Or a bad thing,
Or it can be nothing,
If you  maintain restraint.
Such are the choices we make.

“The madness must end
And I am done with you now!”
Words I would rather
Not hear.
Words, I did not hear,
But she still delivered them.
Whatever the reason,
Matters not.
Chop wood; carry water.
Unrestrained, and I knew
I had to heed.
Now, I was a man,
And I could not half hear.

Day turns to night,
Night turns to day,
And I struggled and stray
Through these concrete realms.
Be that as it may,
I cannot defy the courtly command
And I must abide by
The restraining order.

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