The traveler meandered down the dusty road
like an abandoned cur,
to gaze at a Broken Heart scattered here and there.
As he stared at what was before him
he likened it to nightmarish dreams.
Shading his eyes from a tremendous August sun,
the traveler peered off to the right
where a mortally wounded Psyche lay in the weeds,
baked into something calloused and hard,
no longer part of the poor soul it had come from.
To his left,
where he didn't have to shade his eyes,
rose a huge Mountain of Betrayal.
tumbled down its weathered slope
to drop into a swirling vortex of optimism,
which reprocessed it back into betrayal,
forever recycling the sadness of man's Treachery.
The traveler closed his eyes and sighed.
Old Sol plunged behind craggy mountains
where it would soon retire for the night.
I can't do this.
He received no answer.
The traveler expected none.
Still, it was not silence which greeted his declaration,
faint Moans of Anguish could be heard
over the tormented pleas of a small child.
He knew not.
It mattered not.
The pain was real.
He withstood it by keeping his eyes closed.
The road was familiar.
He had never been there, though.
Not in this life.
That was the thing, then.
Since everything seemed familiar,
if twisted and quite out of kilter,
the traveler had to ask the question.
Am I dead?
Far away he heard Shattered Hope screech.
Am I dead, or is this the way to The All-American Dream?
İFebruary 7, 2017 / Jerry Pat Bolton
~ If they give you ruled paper, write sideways. ~