One Truthful Piece

I’ve been a soldier

Smoking brass laying at my feet

Righteous executions in my hands

The hem of my pants

Stained by blood and dirt

Eyes, bloodshot and grief-stricken

Haunted by myself and others


I’ve been a philosopher

Uprooting cold logic

And giving it emotional sensibility

Elevating myself

For the elevation of others

Enlightening the world around me

Until the corner shadows were eradicated


I’ve been a creative

Opening my heart to the world

Letting it all in and out

Folding my hands and twisting my fingers

Around ideas and aesthetics and the like

Composing a new sense of beauty

And releasing it on the breeze


I’ve been a teacher

Eating polished apples

And spitting out the wisdom I took in

Retrieving items of mystery and wonder

From the shelves of my mind

Showing a page or a few words to those who care

And many who don’t


From stitches in the hem of my pants

To the braids of wisdom

To my aching fingertips

That reach for books too heavy for me to hold


I was made and therefore make

With scraps of bias left by my predecessors

That I might leave behind

One truthful piece

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