Sunday, June 8, 2014


We will box up all the bad in the world
Lock it away, seal it up and place it
In a sacred repository.
Somewhere safe where no harm will come
Nobody will be able to see
The potential damage
The pointless harm
The unheeded destruction
The futile pain.
We will lock it all away
And let the innocent care for this burden.
An obedient child, caring, unsullied, meek,
A child who has not seen the world
A child who will not know the world.
A girl child.
For only she can carry the burdens of the earth
Not knowing the sacrifice
A willing, unwitting pawn.
They gave me a box.
We gave her a box.
“Don’t open it,” they said.
“Don’t open it,” we said.
“You don’t need to know what’s in there,” they said.
She knows better
Than to have a mind of her own.
I know about gifts
They are never any good.
Just ask Silent Cassandra
Or Shrinking Sybil
Or that gormless plank Narcissus
Gifts are never bring happiness.
Not that this was a gift.
More mine to care for.
A beautiful jar, lid held fast,
Heavy, hollow, round.
Whatever could be so horrid
To be held in such an object.
Carefully, I opened the lid.
And my mind went blank.
“Don’t open it we said,
Silly girl. Silly, silly girl.
Only the innocent
Can hold these furies.
Once seen, there is no going back.”
It’s not the hatred or bitterness.
I can cope with the pestilence and war.
Death, riding a horse of no colour
That doesn’t bother me.
Anger, greed, gluttony, sloth
None of these matter.
They escaped, blighting humanity
Like dye dissipates in water.
It’s all part of the fabric of life.
Silly men, silly silly men -
To think a simple jar could hold
The potential damage
The pointless harm
The unheeded destruction
The futile pain.
It’s not what’s out of the jar
That gives the grief.
I look at the jar
Lidless, forlorn.
Inside sits the most awful evils.
I look at the remnants at the bottom of the jar,
Hope and opportunity.
And I weep the tears
Of a million widows.

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