Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
Nobody lives alone, or thinks, or stands,
Or fights alone; nobody loves, or boasts,
Or travels all alone. But unseen hands
Are laid upon our shoulders, crowding ghosts
Attend us, jeer, advise, restrain, or shout
Go on. These hands, these ghosts, these messengers,
Are old in wisdom, in conviction stout;
Grandparents, aunts and uncles, madams, sirs.
When we are by ourself they fill the room,
And while we speak, their voices rise to a roar.
They are our best opinions, final doom,
And the habits and inhibitions we deplore.
We wear their mouth and nose, jaw, cheekbone, eye.
Although we die sometimes, they never die.