Grateful Defeatist

This is a poem about being socially paralyzed with fear.

I have a tendency to build atop molehills

Or anthills–

Whatever I find, really

The ants are crisp

I know

I ate one

I was five–

Sandcastles with pretty seashells

Were weakly glued to the top.

There were no cement blocks.

There never have been any super-

Glued wooden planks

To walk, but

One only need see windows

To know just what they’re missing.

For inside shells

Abound densely–

Schools of fish

Flocks of sheep

Waiting for a shark or a wolf

Or a lion or a tiger or a bear

To devour them—oh my–

As the majesty’s home remains

Searching for the wave

That will induce its demise.

The waves are in the distance

But come high tide

One can never be sure.

Build a moat

So salty water and hermit crabs that try to enter won’t

Come near.

Pile a wall

Based on buckets

Of wet sand

Exhausting work

But they can always be knocked down

So it’s best to build another wall

This time covered

In stones

With a moat

Without help

May only the most agile of crabs gain access.

Never the waves

Not the salty water.

The waves are always in the distance, but you’ll never know

They will never know

And I, the royal majesty, shall never know

The truth that lies

On the ocean floor.


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