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 in some sorry wagon
Through the distant streets and left
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 the yawning silent hum
Of the universe, quiet, unjudging, uncaring
And eternal.