Friday, May 31, 2024

The Last Tenth of the Law

Pushed in a corner adjacent
To outlaws, the shrunken tenth sits
Still, unclaimed by definition.

From its cramped perspective, the rest
Of the law is madness, possessed,
Not law at all, all unjust strength.

But who asked it? It looks around,
Knees to its chin, arms around them,
Thin neck holding a heavy head.

Ten percent. A tithe. A digit,
A pretended philanthropy
Granted by greed to be legal.

Tiny, but not insubstantial,
A permanent minority
Where society intersects

With freedom from society,
Not antisocial, not angry,
Not forceful, not even feeling

The myth that anything is owned.
Who wants to be this, vestigial
Anchor of camaraderie?

The last tenth struggles to its feet
And contemplates oblivion,
Then sits itself back down again,

The elder in the wattled hut,
The small child with strange legs watching
The world through the dusty window.

This is the role. To own nothing,
To feel no pride in ownership.
Not to have, not to take. Stay small.

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