Skelping for a Living

Skelping for a Living
by sheila black
I know when I’m free from skelping—no slap, no blow, no tickle.
It happens rarely but it happens.
A body of words rise up in a constant flow, spilling out
like spikes on a lie detector machine
and take their derivative meaning or value from the word “martyr”
We are martyrs for abstract causes not yet defined.
We have no standards—much like what some say is our future
(i.e. of America, our Great Society, the local community).
The emptiness of this pointed void disturbs no one but me.
I am a solidly entrenched martyr of the personal who names herself “Solidago”
or Goldenrod because it is a flowering plant that heals. I will solder myself
to its meaning and that will be the means of my communication.
The emptiness of manipulation will seal our fate, a cliché
I like to use with angst and as retribution for losses
I see are doggedly following us.
There is no other word I would use that is more attractive or less
since martyrs like to be alone.
I will save you. I will save you. I will save you, they say.
I will not let the waves of doubt sweep in your windows nor
clutch your throat and work themselves into the protective
tender linings inside each part of your organic existence,
knocking them down along with your resistance.
We ask ourselves often if we are doing the right thing,
but we cannot stop.
I know when I’m free from skelping, but it is so rare lately.

0 thoughts on “Skelping for a Living

  1. I am in love with this. When you die, let me know so I can claim you died for this. Death should come with reasons and meaning. It just should. Die so that one death matters. So that any death can be for a reason. So that in death there is meaning to be found. Just don’t do it too soon. Living needs to be made important first, I think. Meanwhile skelp on, skelper.

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