Where you stood

There you stood in the street,

Smokestacks high, trash heaps blazing,

Sun shining from the East,

And humming off the sidewalk and buildings.


You knew where you were,


But boy, you never learned, did you?


Yes, you saw that we were all kings,


But did you see the kingdoms were lies?


You saw the chance to live forever,


But did you see that your spirit still dies?


You saw that wars lay ahead,


But did you see that they were only for dust?


Yes, you saw that men could move mountains,


But did you see it was the pebbles that killed us?


You tried.


You struck fast.


You tried.


You struck hard.


But in the end, the battle was lost from the start,


Because no matter your strength, we poisoned your heart.


And it all began with the lies.


Wide, bright, blue eyes spattered with juice,


What do you see?


White, sterile walls all around, protecting


Just you and me?


Hush, little baby, don’t cry,


All that world out there?


Don’t, worry, you’re safe inside,


You shouldn’t be scared.


But someday you’ll go out,


You’ll see it all,


From the Wrigley Field dugout,


To Niagara Falls,


But hush, little baby, that’s not today,


And that’s not tomorrow,


Now just sleep,


Give no thoughts to sorrow.


What is that?


What do you have there?


Oh no, we can’t have that,


Give it here.


I’ll tell you what we do with these,


Tuck them deep down inside.


But not too deep,


Because then they’ll think you have something to hide.


Can’t you hear me?


Don’t you know what I’m saying?


Or will you continue to test me?


Fine. See what comes of straying.


Don’t forget I love you,


And it’s all because I think only of you.


Oh, boy, what did we leave for you?


A society? A world? Or a zoo?


Did we cage you in the subway,


And rush you by the world on display?


Did we rip you out of the wild,


And force you to smile?


At some point you were broken,


But it all started with the lies.


Get up, get out,


Haven’t you learned what this whole game is about?


You can’t depend on anyone like you do on me.


Not like I like it this way, it’s just how it has to be.


Stand up, keep marching.


Eat and sleep and carry on.


Take all you can, while you can,


Don’t pretend you have anything to lean on,


Be your own independent man.


God, boy, we really fooled you, didn’t we?


We told you all your life,


To only dream of wealth, fame, and greed,


To leave loving behind,


We told you to master your fate,


But we really made you a slave.


God, boy, you fell right into the trap, didn’t you?


You went right along and sold your soul,


To green cash dreams from men in suits,


For money, power, things, and control,


Because we told you that’s what work is worth,


But really, you only ever wanted something or someone to serve.


Rung by rung, you climbed your ladders,


Did what you did and took what you must,


But sitting atop the world, you watched it shatter,


Because all you had had turned to dust.


But who am I to tell you now?


Do I really need to tell you how?


What holes did you fill with what you “wanted”?


What holes could be filled with what you “wanted”?


How much did you really want,


And how much was what you got?


When did your things become your burdens?


When did your persona bury your person?


And looking back, was it not all a mess before?


Only now can you reason, not hindered by hope anymore.


So there you hang, under a lamp in the street,


Smokestacks high, trash heaps blazing,


Sun shining from the East,


And humming off the walk and buildings.


You knew where you were,


But boy, you never learned, did you?

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