If I were watching you now
sat at your lap
desk bare and clinical
like your sharp eyes,
if I were watching you now
I think I would look right into you
and I would see the war scars
that you buried in orderly dysfunction
and raging fits of tidiness,
I don't think you walked away
from those burning screaming
German towns bearing your name.
You ran. you ran hard.
back to your horses and simple fields,
back to a life that was entirely too chaotic
in its gentleness.
I tried so hard to be happy.
It felt, at times, lucidity,
like dreaming and then awaking,
that peaceful dream would never be.
My father's long fingers smooth
over the aged scratchy pleats.
The Kilt is magnificent. It has the
fleeting beauty that only a well
kept antique has, that warm
firelight glow of the past.
It has a few scuffs and holes,
but the somber reds and greens of
clan Mackintoish have settled into
the cloth and darkened pleasantly.
The kilt is always the most important detail,
it has passed from grandfather down,
and it looks as handsome now
as in the sepia photographs on our shelves.
The dirks black ornate hilt rests
heavily against his hip, and the
belt is cinched tightly to hold it up.
you can practically hear bagpipes
My grandfather's dark green cotton socks
sit near the top of my father's calf
and he leans over to adjust the frills.
And as his tan wrinkled brow furrows
in concentration, and his admittedly
attractive white whiskers scrape
across his collar, and the image
nears completion, the drum beats louder.
Reaching up from the ancient past
and grasping the future in tradition,
the ghosts of ancestors enter his poise,
and he suddenly appears less like
my father and takes on the swagger
of a cocky fisherman, of pirate.
He is swinging swords
and playing pipes, and cobbling, and
setting stones upright in ancient
forgotten ritual, and tossing cabers.
I know looking at him now,
what my own ghosts will be
when my time comes.
Does evil change? Does it mean
something different to
each passing generation?
I rather think it doesn't
but instead wears some
dark mask to disguise hatred.
Looking into the future
it sees a people
who have abandoned their fight.
Subdued by unfortunate
laws and happenstance,
disappointment is normal,
until the cruelest evil
is met with a sigh
and casual acceptance.
Take heed that circumstances
that appear to have
improved beyond improvement,
are most dangerous to those
who are still oppressed
by lingering prejudice.
I wrote a paper in school
about ancient myths
using an old typewriter
and by candle-light,
wrapped up in a comforter
that cold winter night,
despite the propane heater
in the dining room.
All of our utilities
were shut off for months,
electric, gas, and water;
we had no money.
We were getting food-bank meals,
and making our own
candles out of reused wax.
It felt pitiful,
and in the days leading to
my paper due date
I was told repeatedly
that it must be typed.
The school library was closed
before my last class
ended, and we had some fines
at the public one.
Here's a myth I often hear,
though not learned in school,
party politics will say,
"They wanted handouts."
I don't think, sometimes
before, or after, I speak.
And I'm only thinking now,
after hours of antagonizing myself,
and I know we'll have to speak,
maybe today or tomorrow,
but I think I deserve
for you to think sometimes as well.
I really hate being sorry when I'm not
and I really hate saying I love you
just so you can stare offfffffff
and ignore me.
And I really hate the
insinuations and suggestions
that your cold shoulders, sighs, and apathy send me
so that I do think, sometimes
before, or after, you speak,
that maybe you don't care for my company
quite as much as I care for yours
even if I know that's not true <3
Despite your self-assured sense
violence begetting violence
is no solution.
It's true, though satisfying
violence may yet be,
joy in crying and dying
is awful, you see.
Try understanding the cause
of bad behavior,
their reasons will give you pause;
teaching you'll favor.