Sunday, April 26, 2015

Message to a Rocket Launcher



author's note:

Praises to poet Robert Bly...

...for telling us men how we shut ourselves down, beginning at a very early age.


MESSAGE TO A ROCKET LAUNCHER

After you launch those rockets
you claim you sleep quite well

but maybe that's a loss
because we can learn so much
from our violent dreams

like the one in which
I tossed a rocket into the air
and felt quite pleased

until I found a string
running all the way from my finger
to the point of impact--

no matter how far I ran
that string trailed after me--

delivering shock waves of pain
long after my missive had landed

--!--

but when I awoke I only felt
a fuzzy numb sensation
in the center of my chest:

according to the doctor
crucial nerve endings
had shut down long ago
due to repeated pummeling--
damage

from rockets fired at me
but also

from rockets I'd shot back:

a lifetime of war

--!--

In the many years
since that diagnosis
I've worked hard to resurrect
my sense of touch--

a painful process
yet also pleasurable
as I feel more and more
each passing day.

To be honest
often in the insanity of a moment
I'll still let loose a rocket

but because I'm now aware
of what results from such defenses
I've much more careful...

as I'm sure you would be too,
rocket launcher--
if you ever let yourself feel
the pain of what we do...



© 2015, Michael R. Patton
dream steps: the blog

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