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Thursday, October 30, 2014

For 5 : For Them

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For Them
 
It's the middle of winter, but
I'm sweating through my uniform.
Now I notice it's dripping
On my graffiti-ridden communal desk, and
My sand-whitened black regulation shoes.
My friends shiver underneath their blazers--
For them, I don't request the fan.

It's been ages since the old man decided
That it's good not to think of oneself
That it's good to be selfless, devoid of ego
That it's good to care, good to share;
But as of yet the old man has offered no advice
On the daily inculcation of his goodness--
And after all these years, despite much effort,
We haven't, yet, quite figured it out.

My people in all their flawed perfection
Prefer ruthlessly imperfect leaders.
Those closest to me know that I was born a perfectionist.
Rather obsessive-compulsive, if you will.
That... that ruthless imperfection... it's like surgery.
False moves equal death -- how can I?
But maybe. Maybe for them.

The spectre of my self-doubt
Is a lanky, wispy, annoying presence.
He smirks and grins and patronizes;
He runs away from all trouble on his pesky legs
And returns, grinning, when the dust settles:
On my black regulation shoes.
His shoes, I've noticed, don't see much cleaning.
Nor do those teeth he grins with, the fool.

Sometimes I forget the old man's dreams.
Sometimes I resent my comfortably clothed friends--
I stride up and switch on all the fans at once.
Sometimes I claw at my wraith as he cunningly fades--
I fell his Cheshire grin to the ground and beat it to pulp.
Sometimes the children in the sandy park
Seem unworthy of all we do for them.

I confess that I'm not free of treacherous fantasy.
There are times when I could kill;
Not just kill, but torment souls
And condemn them to eternal damnation.
That infuriating uniform sticks  to my skin
While I toil for woollen-lined people who don't give a hoot
For wrinkled ideals from a distant Dream--
Those lusting liars, fat cats, scheming slatterns!

But eventually I shiver -- with it I relearn sympathy.
The children squeal -- I remember the old man's labours.
And my ghost? The ghost is but my spirit!
That unsure skeleton is me in another life!
I built him as an aggregation of my wrong choices--
To remind me to safely separate thought from action.
The ghost, I know now, is my creation-- for them.
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