The Western-Faced Compass

I fixed my happiness on it,

stamped my seal on the forehead

of a child to be born decades from that moment,

a child whose existence would solidify my own,

give weight and mortar to the ruins

my parents made of me.

But I would do it right.

I’d play my role dressed all in blue,

sigh slightly at misdoings

and know the quiet calmness

that comes from an indissoluble link,

an anchor firmly sunk into the breast of another.


When was the decision made?

the heart obscured to determine

true peace would be possible

only in the possession of a cradle,

the clinging to a title far too easily earned

that so often rends its holders invisible.

I am the wheel and rudders of this vessel,

and a turn from domesticity

should not disturb the waters

under this boundless fleet.

It it does, I must trouble those seasick wayfarers

to ask themselves

how my taking leave from their race

impacts their journey,

other than to remind them uncomfortably

of their ability to choose?


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