W i l l i a m T h o r n t o n
What did I ever do to you, that you wish to kill me now?
For what particular act do you accuse me, at this hour of our meeting?
To dishonor me, the most familiar face of your young lives?
Your mother swaddled you in the shadow of my portrait
And I have watched over you from pedestals across our dry, ancient land.
Rulers feared the thunder I put into the sword I vowed to let you wield
But you were not ready to hold it, my children, surely you can see
Now, in the power of your anger, the wrath I sought to shield from you?
You may take the clothes from me. They are yours, since I only
Wore them to maintain the dignity of the position you burdened me with.
What caused this break, this tantrum, this mindless anger whiplashed
Upon me, your gentle father, your patient teacher?
Your absent mothers and fathers, who strayed from me, were they here
Would instruct you in what happens to those who conspire.
I have kept chaos caged within your hearts, and pruned you when you grew wild,
But our meeting, long promised, was never to be like this.
Put down your weapons, misguided sons, still your voices, and let me embrace you
Once again, as I did for so long. I would smother you with my boundless love.
There is no need to thank me. It was all for you. Why should you require my blood
When surely I taught you how such a thing can be so easily acquired?
William Thornton is a reporter with the Birmingham News and the author of Brilliant Disguises. He blogs at brilliantdisguises.blogspot.com.