When I was a boy, I had an idea.
It was just an idea; it wasn't a plan.
I ran to the precipice, then I ran back,
I looked over the edge into darkness...and ran.
Moment by moment and for year after year,
I have entertained thoughts of all I might have done
with a moment's less hesitation that day,
another year to endure, or nowhere to run.
The monsters of childhood will never quite fade,
nor the lessons that battling them did impart;
I am reminded by scars that I still bear
on my body, in my mind, and deep in my heart.
Fear turned to anger, and anger to hatred,
and the slight, ugly sting of a selfish regret:
how much easier to sleep might it have been,
had I let myself settle that outstanding debt
as he himself taught me, might even have praised
had he raised me with even a little less fear.
Had I loved him a bit less in that moment,
I would surely have shed something more than a tear.
But a tear is what I shed in that moment
of freedom, when I knew I was no longer scared.
Without word or deed I had already won.
I left him alone, because I no longer cared.
And I left a warning, as plain as could be.
It was only a warning, it wasn't a plan.
A bullet, stood upright, nearby where he slept;
a reminder the monster was only a man.