© W.A. Batanyita
Except you Grace, it is my hope that these solemn words find you hale and hearty. I should have said them many yesterdays, especially for you Grace. But my birth was fitful in pace, and slow to shed were my Boyhood days.
In Boyhood, my mollycoddling womb, I was yet to bloom.
I was an ass ensconced, with all onus tossed:
Free to cause and free still of effects roused.
The course the tether to the youthful cocoon fed me coursed my veins and cursed my brains, making a full buffoon of me. And in my stupid stupor I was invincible and all else invisible, like an isle of boundless miles oblivious to its own bounds in the endless brine.
And so with insular regard for your feelings and needs,
My rumblings and deeds stained with the womb’s blithe ways,
I strained you with wounds and cast blight your way.
Twice I have been a boy in this peregrination to ripeness. Once, my teen years and tether-sustenance compelled it. But even as my umpteen years and hirsuteness made me due and my birth had severed and interred the cord, Boyhood’s shade stuck like glue in mutiny— a neoteny of the mind and spirit.
O, how elegant the cosmos—and how simple the world, and how easy the living—with number one its center! Easy to pick up were the euphonious chinks of change; yet easier was to slink out the cacophonous sirens of hounding lenders. Easy was Love to proclaim when commitment was no aim, and every dame was game. “Rules were made for breaking,” glibly alluded I in my infantile rebellion, and that only a society of one could survive the trite one-liner constitution eluded me.
Kin, blood of my blood, and Sib, whom from one we are sired, how oft the first shot had I fired— or inspired!— digging yet another trench in the mind, erecting yet another fence in the heart, recording yet another front in the annals of Blood Wars. I less gave than grab, more pledged than perform, reimbursed less than renege, more harmed than heal. Bedraggled, battle-hardened militia you and I, with scars and scabs abound! But the seasoned sense and salve of Mater and Pater, exemplars of Love and Grace, arbitrated a truce at every turn, tending our wounds to a turn, a lasting peace their endgame plan. As Vets we know better than rush to battle, and may the squads we someday raise wage more peace than war and goodwill prevail evermore.
Demi the demimonde; you found your calling in life at long last (grapevine tidings)! Beauty that came in full, and most all else in halves and half halves— it was but a matter of time I suppose (though that long a time to work out a trade easiest to cash out is perhaps witness to my half-made case, but that you did at all, at last, is testimony still that roaches too dine out). “All men are dogs” was your pet theory. All halves need another to make a whole, like a stallion needs a mare and a hen needs a cock, is now mine. Dogs indeed and what half are you? I was half blind, as is oft the boy kind; what little I saw, saw with eyes of flesh but not mind— guilty of HalfThink: less rational and more visceral. Guilty, too, of DoubleThink: clinging to us, a lie, than embracing the truth and let us die. We all were halves, unaware not every two make a whole, and some two lessen each other even more. Half romantic and half didactic, ours was half mistake; the lessons I would take and bake and for life the provender partake, like a bitter pill one knows would lead to weal.
In epilogue I turn to you of epic Heart, the epitome of Empathy and eponym befitting epics of Abundant Spirits. Than mere appellation, “Grace” was your epicenter’s perfect epithet. Through epicurean, egocentric episodes that Grace would lead me and, with a painful episiotomy, from Boyhood’s epoxy deliver me. How lachrymose, then, this epistle is an epitaph I now write for you, rather than epigram I should have read to you! It’s an epidemic endemic to the epoch, I suppose: chronic oblivion of Today’s ephemeral sojourn and Tomorrow’s equivocal vows, and that we are assured only Today to speak of Yesterday. May the shade of your epic Heart turn me epicene, for if I’m half the woman you were— of fortitude in Empathy, fidelity in Trust, fullness in Thought, and firmness in Love— I’d be fully the man I hope to be.
© W.A. Batanyita