told you, so bluntly, that you had to learn to kill
gave you the blade,
And showed you the correct way to grip the hilt
not knowing that you knew, already, abstractly, why
the leather was cross-wrapped
and reminded you
To thread your hand through the lanyard rather than leave it dangling
as your life is dangling, and your past already swinging,
creaking, spinning in the winds
of history and fate like the corpse you almost wish--
Where it could be grabbed or snagged, leaving you
disinherited? disowned? when they're all gone, when there's no one left,
is there any word for it other than adrift?
And when they finally, firmly, tell you,
“You have got to learn this,”
Then you know
oh, god. it's not just me, is it? all the grief
that they need you, too.
They have lost/grieved/died with their families, too.
And your loss might, just might, tip their hard-won balance
So you live,
Just for this day,
Just for this extra, stinking, blessed, god damned
when the pain stops.
if the joy returns.
if it's a life... or a life sentence.
And until you know,
There's always the
weight and heft
of your sword.