Poem By Charlie Chaffin

He drew the shade down in front of the sun,
A thick, medieval fortress wall of stone cast.
There in the dim and safe of the dark was also a dog,
A part of him dragged from the past.

She was broken, too, rolled on her back.
Paws like dying trees stretching for sun in the black.
Her past taken from her by force.
Innocence and shame reflect his remorse.

An unhappy secret passing between strangers,
He lay still as a whisper, hiding from dangers.
Folded tightly to disappear against the dog,
Stillness and rigidity. A fallen tree. A dead log.

Her eyes without light regarded him as he began to cry.
She loved and she hated, and gave a deep dog sigh.
A reproachful breath stinking of blame.
They, a broken cask held together by bands of shame.

He knew somehow, in parts but whole, in silence
That no time comes through the castle's stone.
Frozen in that room, locked in ice.
A prison. A prison. Memories, flesh and bone.

She knew it, too, the broken dog, the part of him,
That life was outside, a garden of joy.
Eden, a place for others, a myth for them.
Paradise not lost, but never found.

Oh Tantalus! You don't belong in Paradise.

They lay entwined, then and now,
Without hope, there pinned by time.
Leaves falling from the paw of life,
Their lives forfeit for another's crime.

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S o help me find the metaphor of childhood
With which I can help you understand
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