“Remember This, My Son”

Sudden impacts

and slow, incremental increases in pressure

often have the same outcome.

Shattered.

Smashed.

Pulverized to dust.

Fractured.

Wasted.

Never again whole.

 

There’s an insidious edge

that we all must creep along.

Thin, like early winter ice

traversed at our peril.

We deny ourselves,

for we equate loneliness with bravery.

We turn aside friends,

because we fear the beast is weak

and we are merely weaker.

Tired.

Extinguished.

Ground down.

By the tedious words

of charlatans,

cowards

and yes-men.

Worn thin

and faded in the light,

even our shadows

show through,

like faded memories,

or recycled funeral shrouds.

 

We are the backbone of nations.

We will never succumb.

Even at our weakest concentrations;

we are lethal.

We are the protecting hand,

the nurturing love.

The first to be hated,

disposed of,

derided,

but always the last to leave the battlefield.

 

We are bedtime stories

that ward off creatures of the night.

We are strong arms

and firm chests

and rough hands

that caress with intensity.

That hold and enfold

and cradle

and support;

never neglecting,

abandoning,

or betraying.

 

The world of a thousand adversaries

is our habitat.

We evolved from war and fire.

We learned the Word and the Ghost

and built the great library,

that was razed again

when ignorance held sway,

but we grew from ash.

Germinated in ruin

and borne of violence.

We persevere endlessly.

We are imperfect diamonds,

flawed from creation,

but shaped perfectly by our duty.

 

HG – 2016

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