Saturday, March 2, 2013

Brian Thorpe
From the solace of the womb I was cast on the beach of revolution,
unscathed, unwizened , untainted and not yet unnerved by cries
of dignity outraged, identity oppressed or lives needlessly extinguished.
My journeys to the knowledge of being were taken on the backs of toy
dinosaurs or seated in matchbox cars.
Any knowledge of strife was confined to sounds of a mothers' tears and the
din of of slamming doors. The name of fear was embodied in neighborhood
gangs of bullies or the stern visage of a vestal school marm.
How impervious I was to the images of slaughter in places as alien as Phnom
Penh or the Mekong Delta.
Pleasure too was blissfully limited to vague prepubescent
whispers of arousal as I sat in cinemas, while clad in shorts and high top sneakers,
ogling the ample curves of Annette Funicello or the speedo bulge of Frankie Avalon.
Excitement was gleaned from televised ball parks abundant with rousing cheers
for the likes of Roger Maris and Whitey Ford, or savored breathlessly in summer games of ringalario, as well as the rhythmic chorus of "I wanna hold your hand."
In time of course I would be thrust unarmored into the moils of protest and cathartic shouts
of "Hell no, we won't go!", Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today", "Power off the pigs", and "Get Whitey!"
To the urgent elegy of "I have a dream," I was awakened to the onslaught of raging dissent
and sustained atrocity that heaved and deluged all around. My netting withered.
The voice of Clio, muse of history compelled me to assess, take sides, rejoice in
triumphs sorely won and mourn defeats so bitterly conceded.
Once old enough, I would whirl and writhe in chaos. And so imperiled and assaulted, my  cocoon, ingenuous and unaware, melted like a sherbet cup in the heat of searing turbulence.
Now in mature reflection on all that was, I treasure the respites of gentle reverie and allow the
luminous ghost of childhood lost, trusting and untroubled to guide me back whenever he allows the storms' eye.
I miss his sheltering hand.

I miss his sheltering hand.

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