When to a lie a child commits,
He surrenders to its course.
Piece by piece, uneasy fits,
Held side by side by force.
With fragile scripted narrative,
His thread and weft are broken.
Thinly spun, a gossamer weave,
His web is deftly spoken,
Upon belief his tale depends,
And so he grips by tooth and nail.
But, alas, the more the boy defends
The less does truth prevail.
. When from fantasy a tale is fetched,
. By necessity it is also stretched.
© Tim Grace, 23 March 2010
To the reader: Concealment of truth, as in a lie, creates an uncomfortable personal bind. As self-serving creatures we learn to deceive and distract; to confuse reality with the telling of plausible but misleading explanations. A child’s naive attempts at telling a lie lack subtlety and lead to all manner of tangled contortions. The depth of belief and conviction in a lie marks its destructive capability. Commitment to a lie unleashes its power to grip tightly and strangle the teller.
To the poet: The child in this sonnet is nameless and universal, although his sex is clearly male. While I often try to create a genderless persona this isn’t always practical or useful. Being male, my own reference point is masculine; and so through social construction my default articles of definition tend to be seen through a frame of he and him.