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No.10

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Braced above majestic clouds, an unexpected fear of flying

Clamps to mind the place you left, the place you hope you’re going

For flight these days are hand-grenades some evil bastard’s throwing

All because you’d choose a different mode (and date) of dying.

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Tooling down the freeway when some asshole cuts ahead

Do you throw the bird, beep your horn, or let him go?

Hard to be so rational these days on assholed roads,

Bear in mind the psychopaths out there who want you dead.

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Walking home alone at night, and now you’re out of luck.

Someone’s coming: cross the street, or run, or turn your back?

What if footsteps close until they’re breathing down your neck?

How to scream for help when gagged and tied-up in their truck?

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We fear those we don’t know, and hate the fact that we’re afraid

Revert to tribes of fearful folk that eke out fear-filled lives

When hate and fear are all you feel, along comes tribal strife

Group-think rules, you form a mob, the neighbour’s camp you raid.

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Sharpen sticks at both their ends and drive those sticks in deep,

Crown them with such offerings as fake new gods demand.

The heads of those who lost your faith, all lined up on the sand;

And keep more sticks aside for all the future heads you’ll reap.

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Unforgiving, what made you think the tribe would forgive you?

Enemies now everywhere, each angry face well-known

Friends turned foe, their fickle faith in you is overthrown

You reap what you have sown, don’t you, and now the harvest’s due.

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They come for you, twice-sharpened sticks, your tribal life is ended.

Now it’s time to run — RUN! — the tribe has you unfriended.

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No.10

Erik Kaisson, 2017