my sheepish smile is returned with forgiveness.
Why, when I join the party, will Discretion —inevitably —
pack her handsome leather bags and go on holiday
leaving Gossip and Chatter to polka gaily across my secret heart, and the twins,
Blither and Blather, free to puke upon my reputation, and
Excess, stumbling on a single step must
proceed to dash herself loudly and dramatically down the entire stairway to heaven?
Why, going on and going on, am I left
to discover that someone is picking up the check, or
proposing, or threatening to call the police?
Must I be left to go on
and go on
until my photo is being taken and
the constitution must be ammended and science
and even future generations gasp —
Bite your tongue! Bite your tongue!
Discretion is back, smartly yanking the roof off my shoulders.