gordon nosworthy

The Line - Poem by gordon nosworthy

a line
a curtain
not easily seen
not actually made of anything at all
one that doesn’t exist
except it does

look closely
the prancing hooves
the battle flags
the trumpets
the fear drums
who we want ourselves to be
rushing over the barricades
shouting defiances
unshakable peacocks even in our anxieties
showing our colors
21 gun saluting the image
running from hole to hole
of the strut the voice the smile the swagger
popping up our head to snap a view
quickly dropping back out of sight
while our hands move
our feet dance
our knees tremble
we pass gas and gurgle
to stop ourselves from drowning
to stay afloat in what we want ourselves to be
beyond the line

while the ghost of that image
prowls the other side
handling reflections
handing out pamphlets
improvising explosive devices
mines the traps the barbed wires
our own simulacrums
our own clowns
we think we know the deeds of our hands
we think we know why we do as we do
as we dance and laugh and cry
over the battlefield
pulling all the triggers
without once really knowing why
or what our targets are

why did we say that
why did we do that
what did we mean by that
why did I spend all my life
working for that
that way
thinking that way
worrying that way
expecting what
when in the end we get only
what we got
and the line goes away

Topic(s) of this poem: love and life

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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