A darkened room,
Dimly lit
with one small candle, 
A slight stirring of silk.
A tiny whisper of steel.


I gently pull them off the wall
and pause.
The softness of the cloth
in one hand, 
The coldness of metal in the other
at once beckons 
and repels.


The transformation begins.
What is this thing I am doing?
Who am I to judge?
Why this journey into danger?
Where will it take me?


I am easing the pain of my people, 
my friends, my neighbors. 
Judging?  No!  Never!
That belongs to God.
I am only his instrument.


The only danger is complacency.
Let me die fighting it if need be.
But let me live to see justice, 
mercy and peace, if I can.


The brocade is laying across a chair.
The fancy leather boots next to it.
The sword of my conscience is at my side.
The mask feels soft
and heavy as I place it over my face.


I sigh.
Give me wisdom this night as I ride.
Grant me temperance against enemies I fight.
Let the world be better tomorrow
for my efforts.


January, 2000



Transformation II
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