The Man in the Shell

Listen closely as I tell

The story of a man who lived in a shell

He lived inside and never ventured out,

But his own humanity he began to doubt.

When he tried to turn and take control,

No help would touch him with a ten-foot pole

The shell had encased him, heart and mind-

But to the deeds he committed he was all but blind.

He was caught in a rut, the shell too hard to break;

His true will left silent and his demon opaque.

He squirmed and writhed with all of his might,

But the shell incasing was too much to fight.

The easy protection had gotten too far out of hand,

And the man it protected was too weak to stand.

The mold held fast, not wanting to leave

With all the horrible tricks it had up its sleeve.

While wearing the man, the shell had time

To be bitter, lash out, self-serve and climb

With little regard to the people it stepped,

Nor the steps it left broken, nor sounds as they wept.

And all this time the man inside had stayed still

While this shell had used him to conduct its will.

The man, tired of sitting around

Decided to get up and put his feet on the ground.

The shell was not happy that his person had moved;

It said “stop, look around, your life is improved!”

The man looked around, and what he saw was sad;

He saw shells of broken people acting as his shell had.

The man shook his head, unable to smile-

“Sorry, dear friend, I have to take control for a while.

This thing you’ve done, it’s horrible, don’t you see?

Because while you were protecting, you only cared for me.

These people we’ve broken to reach the top stair

Are too great a cost for a more comfortable chair.

It is time for me to stop and correct what’s done wrong-

I don’t need protection from a shell that’s far too headstrong.”

The shell was upset and did not want to be broken,

But there was little it could do once the man he wore had spoken.

The shell crumpled and fell into pillars of sand,

And the man, free at last, took a higher stand.

People were important, more so than gold-

It was hands, not money, which his heart longed to hold!

Though his journey was late, and the damage was done,

There was still time to wake and bask in the sun.

His timing was late, but a start was a start,

And the man in a shell was now a man with a heart.

We can all break our shells like this man has done;

Let go of the shadows and claim “Love has won.”

Regardless of deeds and things broken in past

There is always hope to be whole at last

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

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