Why is it that I
can never bring myself to throw away the odd sock?
Chances are its partner will never again be seen
in our household or in the laundry room downstairs.
Experience tells me it’s useless to keep sticking
the lonesome sock into the drawer where it will
meet its distant relative and occasional acquaintances
but never its soul mate.
Yet, throwing out
the one remaining sock is beyond me – I simply can’t
do it. It would feel as if I gave up hope – not
only of finding the missing sock but also of putting
straight many other issues I’m struggling with.
It would feel like betraying the faithful sock which
stayed. How terrible it would be if the prodigal
sock miraculously came back and I had just chucked
So the simple habit
of saving odd socks is probably a profound way of
dealing with my fears, my insecurity, my life –
and that is scary!
At 12 death is unknown
Or, at most, it happens to grandparents
Never to 18-year-olds, never by choice
‘He lost his head’, they said
‘He went mad’, they told me
Nobody spoke of fear, nobody spoke of shame
They told me why
accused of stealing a bike
disappeared after that one night in jail
They told me how
a jump into the river
body found three days later
They told me about grief
his aging mother, imagine
his little sister, poor thing
WHAT ABOUT HIM ?
Even then and to this day
I can’t bear to imagine
What he must have gone through
Nobody at the prison door
Early in the morning
To put an arm around his shoulders.
If you were a clone, one of us too
You’d know what it is that we usually do
Every morning we drive, content, to our school
There’s four of us in every car pool
We all look the same, we all talk genteel
The best of friends, that’s how we feel
We get into class, we try not to frown
The students are sitting, just sitting down
We teach our lesson, as fast as we can
The face never moving, always deadpan
Then we leave for our frugal lunch
Never alone, no, always in a bunch
The marks that we give go from 4 to 5
No genius, no failure, no hassle, no strive
The headmasters are happy; the parents: no clue
The students are silent, they are now clones too.