We emerged from youth all wide-eyed like the rest.
Shedding skin faster than skin can grow,
And armed with hammers, feathers, blunt knives:
Words to meet and to define and to...
But you must know.
The same games that we played in dirt,
In dusty school-yards,
Have found a higher pitch and broader scale,
Than we feared possible,
And someone must be picked last,
And one must bruise, and one must fail.
And that still twitching bird was so deceived by a window,
So we eulogized fondly, we dug deep and threw,
Its elegant plumage and frantic black eyes in hole,
And then rushed out to kill something new,
So we could bury that too.
The first chapters of life almost made us give up altogether.
Pushed toward tired forms of self-immolation that seemed so original.
I must, we must never stop watching the sky with our hands in our pockets,
Stop peering in windows when we know doors are shut.
Stop yelling small stories and bad jokes and sorrows,
And my voice will scratch to yell many more,
But before I spill the things I mean to hide away,
Or gouge my eyes with platitudes of sentiment,
I'll drown the urge for permanence and certainty;
Crouch down and scrawl my name with yours in wet cement.
by: John K. Sampson