A wise man,
He crafts them sturdy;
Crafts them strong
Shows them how to get along
When they’re beaten down, rough and worn
By blows delivered in blackened scorn.
 
The young lads,
They come to his store
Their wards won’t deliver,
It needs something more
To carry them throughout the day
When they’ve long run out of things to say.
 
“In relation and warfare, the trick is the same;
Words, much like arrows can slaughter and maim
If you leave yourself off-guard, and you can’t raise your shield
The blows will strike true, you’ve no choice but to yield.
Keep your head up and strong, and know when to defend
And you’ll see what you’re fighting for through to the end.”
 
Wide-eyed, the young nod their heads like he knew that they would
The lesson, once learned, is well understood.
A secret he passed into each of their hands
Would save their lives and give it to their bands
Of love, kinship, and family
Each shook his hand and left filled with glee.
The fight was now theirs, and whether big or small
If they kept their shields up, they would never fall.

(2013)

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