Broken Man

It's a vivid memory:
The snapping of a man holding on for dear life.
I've never seen something so broken.
I've seen smashed windows and shattered hopes
And when I broke my bike chain, that broken man repaired it for me.
When I said goodbye time and again I knew he was shameful.
But broken? Not yet. Then, he was fractured--fixable,
Able to come back from the brink.
But this broken man wasn't the kind of broken you could repair.
He was like a snow globe--
Delicate and much like the music and snow: fleeting--
That has been tipped off the end of a table.
He's the mixture of glass and fake snow and water
That floods the grout between the tiles on the floor
Like a river or canal.
He's the beautiful mess that left behind a child
Who can no longer play in the snow when you shake the globe.
He was meant to protect me, shield me,
But he was so delicate and so easy to break.
I should have known, I should have.
I trusted in my shield and it failed me.
I will not be made of glass.
I will be solid, sturdy.
I will protect what needs protection.
I will not follow that broken man off the edge of the table.
I will not be water in the grout and glass clinking over
Soggy fake snow.

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