1. The First Swing The First Swing
Slicing through the air with effortless aplomb,
the moment you take your first swing,
you wield your axe
like you are a master in the art of gleaning.
Those before you are in awe.
They cannot imagine what your next move will be.
You carry yourself as balanced and poised as a performer
dancing brutally among them;
the searing star of stars,
your robe cascading to the earth
in showers of gold.
But that is not the truth.
Your worth does not matter
to those who now matter to you.
You are truly nothing but a tiny sunspot
to the eyes of others like yourself.
An insignificant fleck.
And as you take that first swing,
they laugh at you.
You try to rise above their derision,
to be noticed in some small way.
To find favor from the old ones,
who are never old.
To gain respect from the young ones,
who have slain their own youth.
To justify the arrogance
that comes with the pride
of being chosen.
But that is not the truth either.
It will be years until you come to know the truth:
That those you revere are merely servants
to the collective that we prune.
It was their choice to let us choose
all those years ago.
The awed, terrified, relieved spectators;
the real ones in power,
the puppeteers of your actions.
Standing in a perfect line before them,
a cutting edge,
wielding our axes,
each one of us is the same as the last.
We are one in all,
We are all in one, and
Our mantra, our commandment,
our duty to remind the immortal of mortality.
To teach them
that eternal repose may be distant,
but not lost.
Who are We?
We are Scythes.
And the weapons We wield
are not by any means our friends.
The devastating force
of bullet, blade, and bludgeon
tears us apart each day, every day,
piece by piece,
and leaves us with wounds that will never heal.
This is what ties us to the masses,
yet restrains us from being one with them.
And with each new gleaning,
We bleed and break anew,
yet our resolve never changes.
For We are scythes.
Nothing will ever change that fact.
And when it is your time to bleed,
you will know,
and you will learn.