Living Inside The Boundaries

The boundaries implore us
to keep our heads in the game
and do our jobs.

Keep the homefires burning
but stop short of lighting new ones
if they go out.

We’ll be safe inside
but we should leave a door slightly ajar
for worthy guests. 

Others are going
to try to get in. Remember
that there’s a lot of love here

for when the right ones knock
and want to shelter by the fire. 
As for the rest, that’s what a gun is for.

If you need a penny at the store, take one
from the tray at the counter — but
only one per visit, you common thief. 

Do not mistake 
convenience for generosity.
Pay up or get out or just get out. 

The boundaries come dressed
in dirty white robes that stink.
Could use a thorough airing out.

If you want to live here you have to
respect the boundaries even if they disrobe
and fully show themselves.

We wouldn’t like to see our boundaries 
naked, though. You know they
wouldn’t ease up if they were stripped.

The boundaries thus exposed
would of course look less benign: all crotch,
no knee to bend in supplication. 

Locked in, upright, decrepit, and cold.
Vision out of science fiction or perhaps
a frieze of history fully ossified. 

It’s all you need. You don’t need a future.
The boundaries tell you how it will be
from now on: keep the home fires burning,

keep firing out the windows at the shadows,
keep your resources tight, expect nothing more
than a penny for your thoughts and all the ammo

you could ever need for when the fires go out
and you have to rob your neighbor
to survive.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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