Ballad of the Participant Observer in a Deviant Subculture

by Philip Murray
I lied with the liars,
I cheated with cheats
To con what made
Their crooked hearts beat.
I slashed my palm
And swore by the blood
I would never be good,
I would never be good.
I ripped my uniform,
I dumped my food;
I spied on my keepers
Whenever I could.
I played being sick,
I gripped my bed;
But my cleverest trick
Was to play being dead.
All through my wake,
While the prisoners wept
And the keepers watched,
I secretly slept.
But just as they lowered me
Into the grave
I leaped from my coffin
And started to rave:
“Liars and cheaters,
Keepers and kept,
Bleeders and sleepers,
Weepers and wept,
D is for danger,
E is for earth,
A is for anger,
T is for truth,
H is for handball,
Hunchback, hospital,
Handlebar, homesick,
Hunger strike, hell.
Put them all together
And what do they spell?”
But they buried me alive
Before I could tell.
Is Death the reason
Boys misbehave?
I keep the seasons
In a seasonless grave.