Ready or Not, Here I Die

The house is mine, but I can share my home with you,

And I'm so glad you see how nice the place can be

I'll try to make it interesting so that you'll stay

It's really not so bad once you get used to me.

I knew the day when first you moved into the house

That time would treat me better than it had before

The others came and went, and left me all alone.

They never understood, nor would they dare explore

The reasons that I had for causing such a stir.

I only wanted to be loved, but felt the fear

Which coldly emanated from the very tones

Of voices hushed in whispered rumors, lest I hear

Some awful truth I was not ready yet to bear

"For children must be seen and never heard", they'd say.

But though I tried to be the child that they would want,

I always walked unseen, ignored in every way.

I was a boy, and had a short unhappy life

The memory of my youth long time ago a haze.

A circumstance of birth I did not understand,

Was less a child in others' eyes, a lump of clay.

I tried to rise above my fate, put back in place.

An outstretched hand was often turned to rage on me.

In time the lessons taught through violence and neglect,

Unwanted and excluded from the family.

So many times I lay awake and wished they'd go away,

Or even channel hatred into something of

Embracing twisted touch. I could learn to exist

At least to feel their lust if I could have no love.

Upon a time I went about my daily chores

And off to draw the morning water for my pail,

With mother risen earlier than she was wont,

Together we went down to labor at the well.

I loosed the rope and heard the deep dull splash

Of bucket hitting water as it made the dive.

A sudden pain behind my ear, I scarce recall

These last things I remember while I was alive.

I felt a hand upon my shirt, the other flailed

In endless motion with a stone upon my head

Betrayal by the one who birthed me, taking back

The life she'd given, not a word she said.

The darkness yawned below me as my body rolled

Beyond the jagged lip of rock that marked the well

Into the black I tumbled, had no breath to scream

And hit the water after endless time I fell.

How long the icy flood engulfed me, I know not.

A glaciated lethargy I felt within.

No heat or light, time slowed and ground to weary halt.

My soul cast in the future when I rose again.

The outer voids of chaos cradle all that forms

Our comprehension of what is eternity.

From darkness I was looking down on golden light,

And I came back before the vision fled from me.

I was aware. I saw the field behind my house.

The weeds grown high and thick, the well not far away

Was long since filled, a new one dug near to the house,

No trace remained to tell of where my body lay.

My family got on with their lives and long ago

They left this place without me, so I got my wish

To never feel the pain again of life without

A home at peace, my spirit free at cost of flesh.

You saw my shadow from the corner of your eye

Sometimes a window shuts, or maybe dishes fly

The house will breath at night, and walls drip blood

But you should know its only me each time I try

To laugh and play, and keep you guessing at my games.

Like hide and seek, until my body's found by you

I cannot go back home and give up on the game,

'Cause once you're dead, there's really nothing else to do.