In a minute there is time
for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
—T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Will you be my page, my number three,
or must you, like the rest, attempt to push
against the knighthood and the kingdoms
that are mine, not yours, to hold or raid?
Will you be the tabula, my writing slate
though deeply veined, engraved with lines
that are not mine, yet empty; or will you
prove to be another flat impermeable stone?
Will you be the trail that infolds
behind me like the fly-trap leaves that wait
in stillness for the unsuspecting gnat, that I
might pass in safety through these realms?
And should you answer, yes, you’ll be the page
who blazes past the sole and pair; unshod I walk
your slated ground, you’ll guide the expeditions
of multitudes who seek the safety of our shores.
© Elaine Stirling, 2013