DANIEL PRONTO-GORDON | Journey

A boy left his home one day,

he no longer knew what to do.

He knew not what to do with life,

not even a clue.

 

No longer did he want it,

with his pain and feeling somber.

With nothing else in his path,

did he simply wander.

 

He walked and walked

down the loneliest road

‘til he came upon a castle,

lawn tailored and mowed.

 

Within, unsure to find

anything in his sight.

But to his surprise sat a man,

who arose in a fright.

 

“Who be you?” asked the man.

“Who dare enter my domain?”

“Only I, a humble boy,

who doth been slain.”

 

“So nothing left have you,” replied the man,

“but your mortal soul?”

“Not even that,” said the boy.

“Had one, rather droll.”

 

“So what do you seek, my boy,

that you’ve come so very far?”

“I guess I’ve come seeking knowledge,

that for this course is par.”

 

“So it is knowledge you seek,

of that I have much.

But may I ask before you speak,

why so cold and lonely and such?”

 

“Well, I was pondering life,

and think there is only one way:

to remove myself from its equation,

and not go on another day.”

 

“Oh, but so young!

How can you be so afraid?”

“Well, the path I hoped to walk

is the farthest from laid.”

 

“Surely such discouragement

is no need to fret.

You were given life

and must repay that debt.”

 

“You’re just a crazy old man.

What could you possibly know?”

“Well, perhaps nothing,

aside from what it is to be low.”

 

At that moment he rose

and then lifted his shirt.

The boy saw with his eyes:

“Oh, did it sting? Did it hurt?”

 

The man replied, “Yes.

Never have I known such a pain.

And closer to death’s door,

never have I came.”

 

There on his skin

were patterns and lines.

Burns, cuts, slashes—

scars of all kinds.

 

The boy asked, “How did it happen?

Such terrible and painful things.”

“Well, one day I met men

who claimed to be kings.

 

“Crowns and gold and power,

these men had a lot.

And in my greed,

it was all that I sought.

 

“So to steal from a king

quickly became my intent.

Easily caught and arrested,

And to the gallows was I sent.

 

“I begged and begged,

‘Please let me out’

‘Hold your tongue thief!’

Was I told in a shout.

 

“So there I sat,

cold and alone.

Beaten on a whim,

cut down to the bone.

 

“But one day I got tired and screamed,

‘This is not fair!

Take me to your master!

That man in the chair!’

 

“Baffled and confused,

Unsure what to do.

With a mad-man’s request

did the guards come through.

 

“To the Master they took me,

and I stood, chest puffed.

‘No longer will I be beaten

and bullied and roughed.’

 

“Oh, did he laugh,

and with a glint in his eye,

he said, ‘Come here, young lad.

Come sit at my side.’

 

“And so I sat,

unsure what to do.

‘No more beating,’ he said.

‘I have something better for you.’

 

“‘I will give you a job

and not one in jest.

Some serious business,

You’ll get only the best.’

 

“Though unsure, I took it,

and my boy was he right.

I lived as a king;

No worries, no plight.”

 

“So how’d you get here,” the boy said,

“to this place with lonely bed?”

“Well, I lost my job,

when the Master lost his head.”

 

“So from loneliness you came,

and to loneliness you returned.

Why have you told such a story?

What should I have learned?”

 

The old man said, “Well, my boy,

for that you need not worry.”

And then to a closet

he went in a hurry.

 

From within it

he pulled out a large wooden chest.

Within that were jewels;

gems of only the best.

 

“My, oh my!” said the boy.

“Where did you acquire such a take?”

“Well, for a certain service,

some money did I make.”

 

“See, only to me and the court

was Master not an evil man.

So the people of his kingdom

concocted a plan.

 

“To remove the Master,

they needed a key.

And the man who had it,

you guessed it, was me.”

“So I guess what I’m saying

is to be clever, not blue,

and sometimes from life

will good come to you.

 

“So take some of these coins,

and back home you should head

and always remember,

you’re not better off dead.”

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