Cut 4 Ways from Tuesday

Will I ever hear from you why?

Why has it come to this?

The bridges we’ve crossed, roads we’ve walked

Battles fought and prayers asked

Was it always my mistake?

Were we never brothers, friends?

It’s not breaking you up like it’s turning my mind

Inside out.

Wondering why—

Wondering what I did to deserve it.

What was the truth then?

And what is it now?

What—what have I done?

Do you even know?

These ballads, these sorrows writ—

I understand them now.

I realize they’re talking about this, talking about you.

Would I find a truer heart among strangers?

Go to any point of the compass,

On the winds,

To find me someone who could disappoint like this.

It’s broken trust that breaks my heart and

Breaks my back.

Was I a fool all along to believe

You’d stick by me?

Will I ever hear the reason from you, from your lips?

Would it come forth in a hiss?


I know you now.

By words—power sharp and sinister and smart

You have stolen the hearts of the men

Of the land


And there are no straight backs and clear minds

To oppose you.

What a tale this will make!

A farce and a tragedy—nothing epic about it!

Though I can hope for poetic justice.

Call it Evil I shall.

All others may bristle, may fear to speak the truth

To your face,

But I am not afraid.

Now will I hear it from you why you’ve done all this?

This kind of Vicious I saw on TV once.

A snarling wolf tearing at the hide of a frightened buffalo.

Blood and pitiable cries.

God help me—I didn’t doubt you.

I always tried to act with integrity,

And thought the same of you.

You proclaim there is no peace between us

Yet you’ve shaken my hand—for what?

And I wasn’t the one who declared war.

This charade has gone on long enough—

You’ve shown me where my jugular is.

Perhaps you’ll be good enough to tell the others the truth—

You want to take my place.

I’ll give you this:

You do move quickly and like a spy

Trained for wartime

A knife at my throat, in my back,

And I never knew you were coming.

Lights flash in the darkness—

Cameras to capture your moment of glory.

Your rise, my fall

‘You’re the hero,’ I’ll cry, ‘Uncle!’

You’ve got the power of

Invention, innovation, transformation,

Misappropriation, manipulation, defamation,

Declamation and misrepresentation.

All these helpful Latin derivatives!

They empower me to speak,

Since you’ve tried to steal the right from me.

Justice, self-defense, you dare not grant me.

The law rules—when it serves you.

You’ve imprisoned me with fear

Isolation, intimidation—

I see such strange and hostile faces ‘round me.

What minds, thoughts, attitudes lie behind them,

Burning, fomenting, tumorous and angry.

What have you told them, and what do they believe?

Your word is double-edged:

What cuts me down puffs them up.

What sort of weapon is this?

And your drug of choice is controversy.

Needing to be needed to ‘settle matters’.

I take no pleasure in this:

That the greatest sorrow is not mine,

And the shame is not only yours.

Lord have mercy.


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