Puppet

Surprised by a touch on my face,
I look up and see that the hand is my own.

On days like this I’m not myself,
These parts that surround me are strange,
Alien and independent but
By the strings of the puppeteer
They are restrained.
With some trying effort I can pull the twine,
Direct here and there the pieces that should be mine.
But th’endevour is taxing,
The repeated episodes
Exhausting.

Some look at the puppet,
At the strings that I pull,
And they say: (it is) “Courage!”
I think of the word when I find
My will collapsed behind locked door,
The strings untaut,
The limbs heavy and still
Though a sob now and then shakes the
Construct that I at these times inhabit.

When the body draws itself together to the floor,
Spent,
Wasted,
Emptied of will,
Haggard and
Jaded,
The effort to hold the parts together
And to pull the strings
Is lessened, and some measure of comfort is gained.

But one cannot remain behind the locked door,
For “Courage!” they say,
And hiding is not.

One musn’t disappoint.