Ode

Love is not a victory march. We knew the
Words by heart before we loosed our tongue in
Hallelujah. Still, we praised, and still we
Worship at the alter of a cruel and

Tender god. When March has come and children
Plod through muddy yards, I still recall the
Dreaming face beneath my face in youth. And
Now they run and chase, and laugh and scream to

Find delight in mirrors in their eyes, and
Play as if the fires inside could touch the
Everlasting other, and we wonder:
Were we children? Were we ever young like

Words unspoken, thoughts unheard? And in my
Son I see such innocence, such blessed
Ignorance, part of me longs that he should
Teach me, rather than I him, to be a

Man. Perhaps he shall. I rest my hands to
Either side and reach into the pit of
Memory to see a glimpse of innocence
In me, and I see you. Isn’t that

Odd? But Mars, the god of mud and play and
Blood decreed his son should teach us love, and
Here we are. My ode of passion is a
Cold and broken song. My feet forget their

Training at the city gate. My hands find
Hollow bones to whittle into pleasing
Sacrifices. March is cruel and young like
Man. Such mirrors recall the pit of words, and

Children reach beneath my face to whittle
Blessed fires. The blood of Mars we worship,
Hallelujah. Were we ever cruel and
Tender? Were we broken, hollow wonder?

Plod through alter-yards. Laugh in praise. Teach me
Everlasting dreaming. In the fire I see
Love. I see song. I see blood and rest and
Passion odes to innocence. I see you.

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