Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the man who didn't know what was his

There was a man who didn't know what was his.
He thought as a boy that some demon forced him
To wear "his" clothes and live in "his" room
And sit on "his" chair and be the child of "his" parents.

Each time he sat down to dinner, it happened again.
His own birthday party belonged to someone else.
And - was it sweet potatoes that he liked? -
He should resist them.  Whose plate is this?

This man will be like a lean-to attached
To a house.  It doesn't have a foundation.
This man is helpful and hostile in each moment.
This man leans toward you and leans away.

He's charming, this man who doesn't know what is his.

~ Robert Bly
from Morning Poems