Vigilant Watchers

vigilant watchersvigilant watchers

oh, what a difference

- the confession of a well-worn rocker

It's a rocking good life,
holding sway over the floor,
so to speak.

I'm 4 legs on 2 rollers,
with a back and a seat.
I’m shaped by my intended use
to provide rest and relief.

I have 2 arms, attached,
but I can't move them
even if I wished.
My rigidity keeps me balanced,
I’m framed to bear others' weight.

But if I had a head, geared with a brain,
[oh, what a difference a mind can make,]
what I imagine I would do.

For example, I could threaten him
who moves to abuse my dignity
by presenting me with his seat.
I could plan and scheme to frustrate
any intending sitter and thus terminate
my present unhappy want of private space.

Or I will rock and ruminate about my state
and grind my rollers in protest
against the immoveable fate
that constrains me.
I will begin to self-destruct,
breaking limbs, off my rocker,
eventually disassembling to dust ...

Oh happy daze, me rocking upon the floor,
I'm glad I'm but a chair, and no more.
A bum receptacle, I like to think.


i will tell

when you shot the idea into my head,
i believed i would not be left standing,
but instead . . .

you took breath and time and aim.
With the fingers of one hand you pulled back the string,
your other hand gripped about the straining bow.
You released your fingers from string and arrow
and set the head and shaft free,
just as you shot me into existence,
some years ago.

you aimed to shoot the fruit placed upon my head.
Now i appreciate that your eye was good,
the fruit was halved and then shed.
But i did not know until then
that i would not be the first
to fall dead in your cause.

inside, i clutch much more
than mere memory
of the boy that day
who thereafter grew to man.
I feel barely sufficient to contain
an accelerating avalanche of anger
as to the pain of not being killed
when i could.

beyond your eyes,
if i could look into you
to the calculation made in your mind,
if i could stand in your place,
would i too not hesitate,
more than a moment,
before releasing the bolt on its way?

afterwards, like me, did you wonder why,
how was it shot, from distance,
such a sharp furious object,
without disturbing hair, nor grazing
or penetrating skin nor that of me within,
not draining my blood nor exhausting my life?

later, like me, you may be surprised that
days, weeks, months, years beyond,
you cry out for your life,
as if you are now under imminent threat.

i still see myself, stood motionless,
my brain cleft by your arrow,
my thoughts oozing out and down my face,
and you standing, still, on principle,
at flesh and blood’s expense,
as i begin my downward topple.

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