Why did I try to kill myself today?
All my life I trained myself to Act;
studied by night until I nearly cracked!
At last I graduated to a play.
I strutted out on stage to have my say,
but the rows of sheep's eyes, closely packed
froze me in fright. Living fear attacked.
My world at an end, I fled from life away.
Perhaps you think your quickness stopped my leap?
your silver tongue deterred me from my end.
Not strength nor reason, nor the fear of pain.
I saw a thousand milling, staring sheep.
I froze, in spite of all my will could lend,
in stagefright's curs'd paralysis again!
An arc of scintillating steel descends,
gouging out life with sharp-edged blade.
A hasty epithet, a temper frayed,
a brain unbalanced which forgets its friends,
and in the ease of speech which anger lends
leaves all its hidden depths of hate displayed.
The hasty stroke, once irrevocably made,
may ne'er be taken back, though it offends
the very soul. A ghastly smile is seen
which more inflames the heart. The fading life
is near forgot, a dark patch on the green;
until a mocking voice cuts like a knife
and a near-forgotten figure at the back
says, "Don't forget, replace the divot, Jack!"