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and then there was one

What do the dodgers dodge? 
Remind me to lace up my socks, 
Put on my boots and be born again.
Trained and ready, steady, go! 
An old man’s antlers in the rutt,
Dangling keys riding on hips of steel,
Measured breath to reach beyond the chain 
Panthers in the night; shadows in the rain.
Clocks moving, things ticking, 
Buttons being pressed so we can feel.
What a deal.
Trade you one millennial for two cats eyes and truth.
Cheapskate, sheepskins, cheap date, 
Duck inside the booth.
Sirens in pastures; headaches for leaves;
All the sheep are still asleep while wolves wait lean of tooth.
Hooves of tomorrows togetherness crossing ever longer fields
Flags still burn like loaves each mother grieves
Gees a kiss and be on your way, 
You’ve papers to come and dogs to slay.
What peppered pot could hold your crooked hens.
Drops of matter splashed in painted portraits of entrails
Giants eating gnats and spilling pens.
Water flowing up.  People throwing up. 
We can count to one and view the moon.
Rooms all big or small, windows short or tall;
All come walking, all too soon,
Dressed in best, mustered for their rest,
Filigreed and pulsing patterned; 
Gathered from each singled, bested stall.
I will count them all, they will be counted each. 
None will become un-for-shadowed.
All will be sands upon my beach.
Each grain a tear I have cried for sins they promised me
The gun, the whore, the braggart, the bore.
All my dancers, and those turned away from the inn.
I will fit them all upon the head of a tiny pin;
Propped and stopped and cabinet-ed, 
Stored in drawers again.
WithTrembling hands and fingers, pressed upon my lasting keys.
I will turn them over now to restful sleep and quiet needs.
No more smoothness to their moves, no noises, night or day.
Their lives that mattered only for what mindless moment bleeds,
Will be removed beneath my cloth and cradled velvet stay.
Pride was theirs, homegrown by choice. 
Not the voice I whispered; nor was fear.
They soon became, each one a flame, rigid in their voice.
Found the liquid of each word to wring from life a tear.
They gave themselves a mercy and a blessing boxed in hope.
They gave them everything that they could grow.
Bubbling springs of every-things; widest in their scope.
Grown to rested futures in a home they could not know.
“Hushed in stillness, light unfolds its sleeping arms at dawn
Slowly reaching for the day’s embrace.  A bead of water sits 
Upon a sun-kissed leaf and waits.  But first, there is a feeling.”

Copyright © vernon witmer

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