Swamp Dwellers

I had gotten deeper and deeper into
treacherous terrain
I was lost.
And I met you guys.

You said
we are swamp dwellers by nature –
is the bad news,
as long as we stick together
and help each other out,
there is nothing to fear.
You said
you had been on the path
for many years,
and you were in possession
a magic compass and roadmap,
which was
our salvation.
The trick was
to stay together
since service to one another
was of the essence,
there was nothing to fear (you said)…
you would show me how
as I followed you.
So I did.

It was good. I recovered my life.

The other swamp dwellers…
not so much…
they kept dropping off left and right.
It was sad, but
you taught me
to keep my eyes on the path before me.
So I did.

You became my family.
It worked
and I began to pass it on.
Others followed me
like I followed you –
a long procession of people
just like us… on the path.

We were relieved and
We had some fun, too,
and when I worried,
you soothed me with magic words.

But some hardship befell you
and you let go of us.
You went back to being your mother’s child
And your sweetness turned to wrath.

Next thing I know,
I am being led astray.
A bit like April Fool’s day…
the magic
you had offered so lovingly,
you dropped it like a hot potato.
Without saying a word,
you lost all interest in
the map, compass, path (and me).

Was it a formula for sunshiny days only?
Could we simply flake out?
I couldn’t say
And you wouldn’t hear.
You had saved my life.
You were free
And I had to go on.
We parted ways
And things changed between us.

You were demoted
And I had to find a new guide.

…and still I wondered
How could it be?
Could we dismiss it all just like that?

It’s dawning on me that…
no one should be followed
The path is MINE.