Thursday, November 10, 2022


When the day's at its end, 
get as still
as you can, 

and you may hear, 
hidden within 
each pulse of breath, 

the very next line 
to a pledge 
of allegiance 

which you must have 
somehow memorized 
very long ago 

right down 
to every last syllable 
and inflection. 

And you know 
you can't quit while you're 
still in the middle; 

you are no volunteer
here; this is sheer 
conscription. It's like—

every instant 
you're alive, there's this 
frantic drill sergeant

shrieking at you 
with his 
repetitious numbers

to keep 
the production and pace 
of your life 

moving smoothly 
at the very same
speed all the time—

with no regard at all
for its length 
or direction.