Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Tatter on the Heap

A rag in the wasteland
Cast aside
Children gather under it
Families fight over it
It keeps them warm

Cloth for them to wear
They build their homes out of it
But there is not enough to go around
To share
To cover cold skin-wrapped bones

Bare legs and arms poke out at the edges
The exposed masses gather ’round
With distended bellies
And dry blinking eyes
Pointing towards, searching
For the hand that discarded
This tatter upon their heap
Hoping for another
Waiting patiently like silent sheep
Before the shearer
Or cattle before the abattoir
They do not see
Or they do see
That their scavenged shelter
Is a blood caked handkerchief
They can choose no other
For they are beggars all

Those pale hairless apes
Washed their blood drenched hands
With this fabric before
It was home to the abhorred
They wiped off the blood of the parents
Giving the cloth for the children’s garments
Expiating their guilt
By throwing the infant rags
From a diamond encrusted hand
Can they bear to look?
At the children in blood soaked clothes?
Or at the naked multitudes praying
For even a corner of the blood encrusted cloth?

The hairless apes lurk in mansions
Spread across miles
Endless rows of pallid picket fences
Buzzing street lights
Empty roads
Blank walls
Full garages
Brightly-painted locked doors
Masking the lethargic beasts that dwell within
While in the wastelands
Their discarded excess and forgotten leavings
Are fought over
Every scrap saves a life
But there are so many more

And lives
To save
Or to lose
To sacrifice
Or to abandon
To give
Or to take
To build
Or to burn
To hoard
Or to scatter

In the end your actions
And possessions
Will tell a story about which you valued more.



1 comment:

  1. Wow. Powerful words.
    Such questions have also been on my own mind lately.


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