4.13.2014

The Wall

Well, all the other kids have got
their pencils out. They've marked the spots
where iron crowbars, hammer swings,
spikes, and other pointy things
might best bring down this monolith.
Not me. No, I am numbered with
those who have lost their precious tools--
the clueless ones, the fools.

This bleak expanse wears little, just
the remnants of our feeble thrusts:
a crimson drip, a rusty scar
from shoulders torn and raw. We are
the prisoners of endless youth,
who rest our heads on kneecaps, soothe
our bloody hands with bitter tears,
and count the fading years.

Oh, I would sit and sleep away
my days. I'd catch the dreams that stray
from me like threaded mist between
my fingers, bind them till they're clean
as mountain springs and buttercups,
spin them gold and drink them up
till they are cold and real as rain,
and never rise again . . .

Yet something murmurs discontent,
a fervent voice that takes offense
at idle limbs and slumbering mind.
It cries: awake, oh sleeper! Find
your sight once more and look beyond
your dreams, see how the ancient bonds
have fallen from your wrists. You're free,
it calls, reminding me

that there is work still incomplete--
so pull me back onto my feet
and put your chisel in my hand.
A fool I am, but I will stand
and hammer at this wall with you,
if you will show me what to do.
If you, who brought down Jericho,
would teach me where to place each blow,

I know that I could tear it down.
Then at the broadness of new ground
perhaps I'll hesitate in fear,
but let me not forget you're near
and that I'll never walk alone
until I reach our glorious home--
so let my sleeping spirit wake,
and guide my hands till this wall breaks.
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