Three iron bands
Around the heart of the warrior.

First, the sibling
Asking you to help them
Under protest, you agree
Protesting all the while

Second, the parents
Who are there and not there
Damaged beauty
Mostly others see the beauty
And you deal with the damage
As best you can

Third, the world
In all her beauty
Load her onto your back
Brace yourself
And lift

The iron bands fall off
When you have done your work
To the satisfaction of your conscience

Not my satisfaction
Not anyone else’s

If you lie, it will break you
Don’t lie to yourself
Don’t lie to me

To the satisfaction of your conscience

Because that is what you must do
To earn grace.

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