How frail, in truth, is the world that we tread? Captains and kings claiming calm sea’s ahead, as they’re riding high upon silver spoons laughing, as below, the world withers too soon. How thin the membrane of life’s brittle bubbles, building our barriers and avoiding all troubles. Do we wonder at the reasons; do we hide or protect as we inch to the edge to see what we detect? “What was that sound; was there movement out there. Should I really be asking; do I even dare?” Tentatively touching the flimsy façade, so supple is the skin that we daily regard. Looking back upon life, the days growing harder, the air is much thicker; little left in the larder. Hands hardened by toil beneath a burning sun and yet there, outside, I hear people having fun. “Am I guardian or prisoner in this creaking cocoon?” A creeping curiosity and yet, gone just as soon. “I wonder what would happen if I pressed against the skin, would it hold or would it buckle, this shield of thought, so thin?” “But wait, all is silent; the laughter has ceased. There's sound up above, the sky looks like it’s creased. Did they read my thoughts; hear my questioning refrain? Better back off slowly and hope the bubble takes the strain.” “I pray now to the masters that my bubble doesn’t burst, to leave my family dying of hunger and thirst. Better get back to the fields and plant my meagre seeds, hope that nobody noticed me, and my selfish deeds.” A quick look over his shoulder and he’s so relieved to see that the shadows have receded, he is once again ‘free’ and deep down within, he breathes a sigh of relief, for nothing good can come from upsetting the chief. But somewhere deeper down there lies a lingering doubt getting stronger day by the day, pushing it’s way out. Questions to ask, needing answers from those who do all they can to conceal and transpose. One day it will grow, for him, simply too strong to resist the urge and it won’t be long. He fears for that time, for he knows it must come, the questions will burst free like bullets from a gun. Destroying the flesh of this fragile façade and revealing a world so desolate and marred. The one that the masters try so hard to hide, a world, once our home is now dying outside. But we’re safe in our bubbles; our precious little worlds, they tell us to be quiet and be good boys and girls. They look after our needs so we don’t need to fret, just work and raise a family, all you need, you will get. And life as we know it is once again stable, a daily routine to put food on the table. He tills his fields and sows his seeds And forgets, with a grin, his recent misdeeds. At the end of the day he lays down his head but the pit of his stomach hides a darkening dread. For the questions return with vengeance and might, as he settles once again for a long and restless night. Written by Darren Scanlon 12th September 2014 Revised by Darren Scanlon, 1st July 2015. ©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.