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Wedlock, from The Graveyard Suite

by Odell Shepard, read by John Shepard

Said Flesh to Bone: 'This many a year

We've kept the road together, dear;

Now there's a thing I'd like to say

Frankly, as an old friend may.

Since we began, we two have seen

Sorrow and joy and all between,

Despair and love and bitter fight,

Stars burning in the frosty night,

Cities of men, the hills, the sea....

Nothing too far for you and me!

But now -- it grieves me to the heart

To ask it -- have you done your part?

Often at night I'm quite worn out

Just with bearing you about.

Often it's all that I can do

Just to lift and carry you --

To get you up and ride you round

And keep you moving on the ground.

And year by year I think you grow

Heavier, more dull, more slow,

Like an old machine that grinds and clicks,

A bag of sockets, hoops, and sticks.

I want to run, I want to soar,

But you lie heavy at the core

So that I only seem to creep

Feebly toward some final sleep.'

Said Bone to Flesh: 'I always knew

There'd be no use in telling you.

Why should you think it such a boon

For me to dance to your crazy tune,

Jerked by tendons, pulled by strings?

And now you talk of wanting wings?

The attitudes you put me through,

The frantic things you make me do,

If he could see them in a dream,

Would make a brazen monkey scream.

However, take your own good time.

It's tedious for me now, but I'm

Thinking soon to lay me down

In some still granite-gated town,

Some city of my kith and kin,

Where, though you may just enter in,

However hale, however strong,

You will not care to tarry long.

I'll be the winner in the end,

So take your time and pleasure, friend.'

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