When a man overcomes his fear of the dark
and resolves at last to journey down
into the dungeon of himself;
one tentative step follows another,
through ancient cobwebs and skeletons of dust,
till the damp floor of some forgotten cellar
meets him, shaking and in terror
of the horrors that await him there.
Staring into this black hole,
the taste and smell of foetid life
tells him, with a shudder,
there is something here he has to face.
Strands of light seep slowly from the door above.
He thinks he sees a living shape
slowly turning – facing him;
the clink of chains on stone
and yellow sunken eyes, two points of light.
But no expected roar or threat,
only a whine of longing
and a wheezing moan of pain.
The man’s terror dissolves in shame.
With jolted memory and rising shock
he reaches out and frees that chain
HE HAD PUT THERE! the ‘manly thing to do’.
Now, he leads this hairy creature
up and away from those lost years,
away from the cellar of banishment
he himself had built,
into a stark revealing light.
Who hides beneath that matted stinking coat?
who lives inside that wretched twisted shell?
All those banished years gone by,
will this man truly know what’s his,
in the homecoming, the awaited reunion?
To grieve, and learn to love the softness within,
his innocence – the beauty and power that lies untapped?