away
by john sweet

    the day held
    at arm's length

    do you call it
    your own?

    the houses grown from
    muddy earth
    the trees pulling away
    from their shadows

    what is the purpose here
    or are you content
    just to breathe?

    do you understand that
    nothing
    is unknowable

    that the sun will live to
    consume us all?

    and yes there are
    those who will
    die unloved

    those who will become
    tired of life
    by age twenty-seven
    and turn their last hours
    into tragic myths

    heros or ghosts or
    just men
    smothered by addiction
    but this comes too close
    to the face of
    the sky

    i want my son
    to know more than
    junkie worship
    want him to believe in
    something beyond the
    vague abstractions
    of the word

    there is no great shame
    in imagining myself
    a stronger man than
    my own father ever was






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