An Unclean Slate
These slates are hard to clean,
Jagged as their edges are –
There are shards ripped away by the wind,
And splinters that shudder and glean.
There are blades left in this stone,
And other crevices, curved and blunted –
Weaknesses, one may suppose,
Unable to draw blood or break bone.
But these blades are stealthily sharp,
And there's no scrubbing the dirt away –
The years of salted blood,
The bloody tears of yesterday.
I can't clear the moss from these engravings,
We forgot their meaning long ago –
The words are buried beneath decay,
Lost to the roots of rocks below.
Well I can fashion us new slates,
And chalk into them our names –
As it's far too dangerous to set in stone
The uncertainties of our fates.
But would the stone be too thick,
And our names in silver –
Would our slates then stand upright in the ground?
It's a dirty slate or a gravestone – you pick.
Because to me renewal is a death,
And perhaps I don't want a clean slate after all –
Because these blades, this moss, these crevices
Document each rise and every fall.
So I'll keep my slate, I think,
Cracked as it is with ruinous shadows –
Because I'd rather have these pieces missing,
Than be complete, but a stranger to my soul.