an ancient lyric, come to haunt,
no longer a shield, now thinner,
of gossamer consistency,
a tissue-thin papyrus,
“my poetry to protect me”
the poem words always were
a clarinet reed, capable of singing,
a highest pitch voice for turning
blades of clean steel clean away,
now blunting paper bunting, penetrated.
re-formed my shield, re-purposed,
into a stabbing instrument offensive,
my poetry pricking tearings in my worn
thin fabric tapestry, woven from linen
excuses of why I can’t, why couldn’t I.
this is life. moats becoming drowning
pools, castle walls reversed to entrapments,
wrecking machines, boulders hurling,
medieval defenseless against modern rhymes
giving away to free verse horde onslaught.
too late to apologize to myself, alas, my words,
my protectorate, island redoubt, now ruined
by doubts treachery breech birthed from within,
these verses hollow point bullets engineered,
Caesar’s words clarified, you, et tu, are Brutus
too, two, for the price of one, betrayer and betrayed.