I Am Not

Poet's Corner 001

“I am not as other men,” he says –

Then shudders, for he thinks he hears

The posturing Pharisee

            In the shadows close at hand.


A pause; he stops; he stands;

Then chases tails of circling thought,

Smoking firebrands, little foxes;

            He ends in ash and stubble.


He returns again to his former place.

“I am not,” he says, “and I will not;”

Then hears their voices close at hand,

            “You shall, or shall not be.”


In terror then he runs, he flees

Before the awful Juggernaut,

He bends beneath the woeful yoke

            And buttons up the collar.


He stretches muscles that are not,

He paints a pleasant face and strains

To climb; he thinks he stands but falls.

            He ends with “I cannot.”


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