Theme: Life

Rules of Life

by R. D. Ashby
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It was first as a child that I noticed
The inevitability of behavior, how
The repeated fault was its own proof
Of immunity to correction –
It was like trying to stifle who one was.

Just as one out-grew the bed-wetting phase
With its unjust accusations – so
The ministrations of cane and confessional
Only high-lighted the incorrigible -
It was like trying to stifle who one was.

The things I did well I put down to affection,
And hated correctitude for its own sake -
The standing in line, the respect for rules,
Of pride of person, of pressure to achieve -
It was like trying to stifle who one was.

Later, in adulthood, little would change,
Social vices would begin their cycles,
The habit of smoke, and drink, and lechery,
And gambling, prohibited only by a theory -
It was like trying to stifle who one was.

It finally dawned on me that whoever we are,
Whatever we do – it is done, and damn
The consequences, which when these surface
In terrifying form under the prevailing rules of life -
It is like trying to stifle who one is.

14-Feb-2010

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