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.'