Betrayed by the Very Soul Poem by Ward Kelley

Betrayed by the Very Soul
Ward Kelley


pounce, it will pounce
and it will fall, it will sidle
and it will stall yet all the while

slide from side to sunny
side, slipping here to there,
out the back, then up the wall,

across the yard and through
the fence, down the alley,
down the gutter, up the sluice,

then rolling, rolling into
the pathways of your heart,
artery here, vein throb there,

pump, pump, breathe in,
breathe out, pump, pump,
then flop the substance

of it all from the dumptruck
that at last became your heart,
dumped into the coal bin of your

very soul, and that was what
the pounce was all about,
you know, the pounce, the little

pounce, it’s how you slipped
back inside the breathing,
never intending . . . perhaps

wanting, but never saying so,
perhaps considering, but never
taking a step, an actual step,

then betrayed, or fulfilled,
but mostly betrayed, by your very
soul who always thinks it knows

much more than you.