When every side and center lie in
splinters, sooty and diminished,
when dangled on a sharpened edge
ragged, branded, "Finished."
When hearts are tossed as toys to
break then easily discard,
eye one hundred reasons to spike the
shield, point sword-remain on guard.
When the robust will breaths first
winds of feeble compromise,
let a fray of thread grow mouth and
voice through which to improvise.
Can one trust, a pebble thrust,
will come back as two-fold?
A word to give, a word to keep.
A truth one can uphold.
From drop to trickle to pouring
gush of the uttermost.
To Owl-like wisdom's watchful eye
from the donkey's squeal of boast.