Poem: Whistling Targets

Whistling Targets

It is a dark corner of the Museum,
swathed in blue over plaster and styrofoam,
unsure if it is art or camouflage,
it disappears in the exhibit,

It sings to you, the dark blue corner,
the place away from the place,
empty space, art on its own, largely ignored
in its protective coloration.

You remember your own.
Protective coloration that is.
You remember the safety of it,
and the effort of maintenance.

And now, you have surrendered to yourself.
A less safe place perhaps, but
a space where both the love and hate
are honest. All these years later

you have finally learned to live with both,
learned that you are more a survivor
than you could have imagined
as a younger man.

Still, if you are honest, dark blue corners
still feel comfortable, and you linger a while,
remembering a different time, glad now
for the new roads you ramble,

an honest target,
clambering out of your darkness each morning,
whistling as you walk.

About this poem

Inspired by a rash or articles on my various feeds about people who have come out as what they are. From gays and trangenders, to closet liberals and conservatives, to religious and atheists, the stories all have the same them: how hard it is to live as something we are not.

Most of us have lived in that place to some degree at some point in our lives, and it’s hard work. Hard in the keeping up appearances and harder still on the soul. That is why they resonate so much – the stories are about all of us.

Be well. Travel wisely. Love all.

Tom

PS: The photograph is of a dark corner in Mass MoCA, the museum of contemporary art, one of my favorite museums.

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