“For Twelve”

Twelve steps, twelve brothers, twelve ones you know,

All are scattered with just one blow.

Blank white rises, with fear and debris,

No emotion is tidy when lives need to flee.

 

The floors of the palace are empty and dull,

Without the extremes you’re in apathy’s lull.
You know pain’s cause isn’t far away

Its threat follows quietly as you pay.

 

In silence, since you’ve lost words to say-

and the ones you could tell them to, anyway.

In work, dragging on, for one sinful blast-

Nothing takes longer than cleaning out the past.

Resentment and love are both nettles that sting,

But comfort is far away and tired to the wing.
So keep on, grind on, use these things to weave.

The world says, “Idle hands are not the way to grieve.”

 

The halls of the palace are grand and echo,

but they offer no clue as to which way to go.
It’s filled with beauty and sights that are new;
It’s that same old place while the work pulls at you.

 

Guilt says, “Stamp the pain, stay up late, you can drag this on.”

Exhausted, alone, you’re not ready for the dawn.

Deadline comes, grabs your labors before the sun.

The world sees relief there and thinks that you have won.

But twelve and twelve are not the same; year and sorrow drained you dry.

Only one wing, pure and blank, warms you from this lie.

Give up, give in, lift loneliness and speak.

Here has sought me, though Death has what I seek.

 

My palace walls are decked and bright

And I’ve learned to rest here through the night.
The feast is for joy, for life, and for me.

I shall say yes…and keep just one wing free.

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