I fudged a decent life out of the chaos of my childhood

“Forged” is too strong a word for what I did

raking the damp leaves for grubs and beetles

that served as sustenance; learning to grovel

to fall down, cracking from the inside.

Tears came easily then

Not like later when I learned

That my adeptness at accepting pain

Could be turned to good use in creating a disguise.

A muscular illusion that told others

To stay away.


And stay away they did, in droves

Sensing, as unbroken people will

That something was seriously wrong here

That the animal capacity to make a whole

Had been trucked away in some sorry wagon

Through the distant streets and left there

In a foggy glade, where the real work of life began.


I learned there the vision trick

Seeing without self or sign of pride

Looking at the world, at you

With the nothing gaze that feared you too

Might share.  Dabbling in death

You might say, if you, like me

Had a moment of emptiness.


For who said we were meant to be full

Spewing forth the dross of our days

In confident projection; who is it, indeed

Who decides the fulsome winners and

Props them like statues on the stage.

I wish I could be one.  But the fudge that was made

For me was at base no more than the yawning silent hum

Of the universe, quiet, unjudging, uncaring

And eternal.