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Bridle and Halter

I’ve had this bit of metal between my lips

since I was very young

this bit of discipline

of should and shouldn’t

this bit of cleanliness

and godliness

of rules, restrictions

bible talk and prohibitions


When I got troubled

eyed some foaming surf

or grassy undiscovered path

they’d yank the leather straps

that hold it


Pulling my painful jaw in line

with where to go, not how to go

filling my mind

with what to think, not how to think


While in the veins and arteries beneath

my teeth still ached to spit it out

my blood still longed to surge

high with the flaming sun

plunge into the waves

gallop off, wild undisciplined

uncivilized and free


But now that I’m a parent myself,

that freedom’s lost its luster

I tread the straight and narrow

set a good example to my kids


No more horsing around for me

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© Johnmichael Simon



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