Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Handbaskets

What can be meant
For a child taken too soon?
Why do we continue to breathe
When the deserved cease to do so?
Why do our fingers grow gnarled
When theirs, so tiny, clutch
At the life we live
And never grasp the lives we give?

For who would have been?
President, Savior, Stalker, Taker,
The bathtub knows all
And bathes not.
The blood of these lambs,
Spilled by these sheep,
Stains even in Hell.

And the Demons weep
For the children they once were,
Who lived to tell the tales
Of perpetuating terror.
But even at a time Demons had tiny fingers.
And perhaps the heart grows not small
But cold, a product of its mold.

Spare the rod and spoil the child,
Scorn the babe and scar the man.
When the young cannot walk
We carry them.
Whereto determines
If ever they will walk.
Choice is not theirs to make,
Yet their life is not yours
To forsake into whom you were made.

The chains that bind you
Blind the children,
And taken in handbaskets
To Hell they will go,
Screaming Wee, Wee, Wee,
All the way down.

And perhaps because of you,
When they have just barely
Breathed in the virus of Earth,
A good spirit takes them away.
Better their fingers remain small,
Than grow to grasp the knife
You hope to hand them.

1 comment:

  1. The startling imagery in this poem creates a unique tension between the sorrow of a child's too-early death and the reality of what such a death has spared him or her.

    You have a deep sense of poetic balance, Will. That's a quality that many poets long for, but never achieve. You have a gift!

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