Duty (Cloud Couplets)

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At 11 p.m. last night, I was driving back home from a class in Taubaté, on Brazil's busiest highway, when lines about duty began to form in my mind. As I stared at the lights of the oncoming trucks and cars, with the family asleep, the delicate balance of duty appeared. Better yet, the awful imbalances of, on the one hand, whacking away and whittling down one's duty to get out of doing one's share. On the other hand, the overly responsible heart that piles on more and more and finds duty where there is none.

Half-way home, I had the Perfect Couplet. By midnight, bent over a square piece of blank notepaper, I willed my neural synapses to reproduce it, but it had evaporated into a faint echo of faltering meter and questionable rhyme. Always happens when you can't write it down.

What you read today on the Cloud Couplets poetry e-mail list is a patched version and pale remnant of the Perfect Couplet that got away.

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2001

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