Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.
Four of us loaded into the motor home,
My father, his cousin, my cousin and I.
We ventured out across the prairie,
Unto the dam of Kings.
Our great goal was to ensnare the walleye fish,
A beast that stalked the waters.
We arrived after the sun had set,
We whetted our parched mouths with the southern brew.
Only three of us could rest in the great metal beast,
I volunteered to make my bed on the plain in a tent.
As the night was dark and the sky was black,
Soulless with out a star.
My tent was pitched on the hardened dung of cow,
And I slept not a wink.
The great prairie wind took down the walls of my tent on three occasions,
The temperature was colder than anticipated
Twain hours after the night’s mid I heard the coyote yip,
Awake was I and so I stayed the sun would rise soon.
I arose from my tent to watch the sun rise and the dew was thick on the ground,
Not another was stirring at this early hour.
I knew of the sun that would be scorching the earth,
So I found a bottle of sun screen and coated myself.
As time went by I stood on the shores of the damn of Kings,
Casting my line in hopes of snaring my prey.
Though my efforts were fruitless I felt no shame,
As it was no fault of my own.
The equipment was older than the dirt on which I stood,
And the line was dry rotted and tied back together in spots where it snapped.
To try and break the moment I began partake of the mentholmint schnapps,
Unfortunately the spirits did no good as I had long since built a tolerance.
After four hours of frustration and faulty equipment,
I decided to switch strategy.
My cousin and I deployed in a vessel to cross the lake,
Little did I know the ill fate which lie in store.
We crossed the lake and found a spot unpopulated by man,
We cast our lines and waited with patience.
To no avail were our efforts though and not long after the noon day sun had reached it’s apex,
We started for the banks.
The motor had died nearly stranding us but we found some ores hidden away,
I began to row but worse luck lurked ahead.
To balance the vessel I changed my position but this was a mistake,
The small boat was not made to hold more than one body and the front end began to sink.
After some great time we returned to land and alas my flesh was seared,
It was worse than if I would not have used the sun screen at all.
As I put my foot down on the shore I sank into the mud down to my thigh,
I became concerned as there was a cow skeleton near by.
It didn’t take long to figure how the bovine met it’s end,
Sunk in the mud and eaten by coyotes.
With my cousin’s help I was able to avoid the same fate,
My flesh was beginning to turn pink.
Upon returning to the metal fortress I inquired about,
The contents of the sun screen bottle.
The owner of the vile responded post haste,
“Bug Repellent” was the only phrase uttered.
Rather than coat myself with a layer of protection,
I managed to cover myself in alcohol which only cooked me more.
As the day drug on and the sun got hotter,
I became even more raw.
Soon I was sun poisoned and unable to move,
Freezing and dripping sweat at the same time.
At eight and a half bells past the noon,
the old man of the group decided it was time for sleep.
Though the sun was still shining and the group was restless,
He bitched and nagged like an old woman.
The curtains were drawn and the music silenced, and our heads placed on our pillows,
Though the rest of us had enough and wanted to venture back,
The old man had to have his way and fish another day.
The next morning we awoke to frost and fog and cold,
To say I was angered by the fact that we stayed for this is to not say near enough.
I was hungry and the pangs were there but all that we ate for two days,
Was the chili that the old man prepared.
I could not feast upon it another day,
For my colon was already burning.
I walked out side to leave a shit and the wind howled by,
I had to avoid shitting on my leg or pissing in the wind.
As I sat there mid poop I noticed movement on the ground,
I turned to look and saw a bull snake.
Five feet long and black as night, what was I to do,
I shat my shit and wiped cautiously.
My sun burn was excruciating now and snake bite would be worse,
I made my way back inside where I sat and waited.
One fish was caught by the old man and we left shortly after,
When we returned it was all agreed we had witnessed hell.
I may never go out with that old man again,
and never shall I venture to the dam of Kings.
Yet I no longer fear my own demise as I know,
No sin have I committed will ever bring punishment greater.