“Can’t Be Too Careful” by Rose Handler

Can’t Be Too Careful
by Rose Handler*

They wrote a rule they feared be broken,
since it made no sense.
A simple solution was spoken:
build a kind of fence.
A wall so in case some rebellion
broke what was erected
the most important principle
would still remain protected.

But would it be protected
if the wall around it fell?
Let’s put another fence around it
string it with a bell.
And sound alarms if it was trespassed
so shame of a break in
would stop a breaker in their tracks
before worse steps were taken.

Look, you can’t be too careful, so
let’s build another gate.
Our safety rating just goes up—
it’s easy to equate
another wall between the dangerous
and tempting deed
a nation safe behind it, all
the new rules we decreed.

Materials work into walls
no steel spared, and no brick
but safe inside the people squirm
they’re getting claustrophobic.
as each fence goes around the next,
and every level’s risen
the safe enclave we tried to build
becomes a perfect prison.

*Contact the author at rosehprose@gmail.com

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