Spring 2020 Sestina
Why should incompetents impose such laws
As kill off liberty to save what is
by its nature finite, life? And do we own
our freedom? Is it really ours to end?
By what right do we kill it now?
And will it from the ashes ever rise?
Why bargain, why take risks? Why not surprise
the Devil and point out his dreadful flaws?
Our freedom was so dearly won, we know
the priceless thing it is.
A thing on which we thought we could depend,
a thing we thought we never would disown.
Our liberty, so cherished has been known
to lift us up and help us rise
to greater things than otherwise. Defend
it now, before it’s taken. Devils claws
will tear it limb from limb, when it is his,
and leave us nothing of it as we know it now.
But blood will not be spilt upon the snow,
no corpse within the grave which can be shown
to children wondering what they’ve lost. It is
not freedom when it must comprise
some stunted version of itself, its laws
do not set limits, only bend.
It is our dearest love and greatest friend,
we knew it in our infancy and know
it best at death when we are outlaws
when all that can be known to us is known
and we can finally apprise
ourselves of what it is.
And yet, then even that will be a précis,
its boundlessness incomprehensible can’t lend
itself to understanding. Yet if the dead could aphorise
they’d tell of liberty to make the living know
it was not something they should seek to own
nor curb, nor cage, nor crush nor seek to name its flaws.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Freedom we can never own,
we’ll rise above these petty laws.