He’d grown quite tired by then, but still he tried
To appease or even please that ghost whose voice
Pursued him, critical of every move—
Pursued him easily, relentlessly;
A spectral helicopter hovering high
Above him, searchlight showering him in white,
As, trapped inside its shifting spot, he ran,
The voice reverberating in his ears.
But worse, it knew exactly what to say
To sink his heart and overthrow his mind
With crippling catalogues of ridicule.
And so he wrote…in hopes of being healed…and,
Stirred by family stories of one other,
Who threw this hammer—this one—at the mother.
He learned one more detail about that other:
He’d died too early but not soon enough,
And now lies silent in an unmarked grave—
Because the voice refused him any stone.
And so he wrote, and so the voice kept on;
Its arbitrary taunting would not yield,
And written words stacked high could not abate
This feeling that he’d never quite succeed.
He tried to have an understanding ear,
To listen for the mind behind the voice;