Troop 102, Class 8: Knots
by Wade Martin

Out of the twelve boys, some were tying beautifully.
Their rhymes were sweet, like:
Over hand and under hen,
around the back and through again.
They were tying knots to save lives,
to drag logs, to speak hidden forest languages,
to catch food, to hide trash, and to hoist the flag up.

Out of the twelve boys, some were moderately successful.
Their rhymes were colourful, as:
In the noose and straight as a level,
this hitched-half-hitch can go to the Devil!
They were tying knots for truth,
for angst, for courage in the try,
for tree swings, for practical jokes, and for mother’s gifts tied up.

Out of the twelve boys, there was one who could not knot.
His rhyme was more of a prayer:
Now I lay my ends to keep,
I pray the fray is not too deep.
If the rope I knot should break,
I pray my badge they will not take.
He was tying knots of frustration,
of anger, of hatred at misunderstanding,
of holes, of broken things, and of failures too slippery to close up.

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