Poems by
Jason Ralte

My Chief, My Chief

a poem by Jason Ralte

“My chief, my chief”, cried the village herald.
Upon the open latch of the door entered he,
Pale, sweaty and out of breath.
Forgive us if we have not been kind enough to offer our help
But lately, we feel that you have forgotten us.
We offer our condolences for the unfortunate events,
Was it your wife or sister or bride, or son?
I am not sure to which to offer our earnest respect.
He gazed upon Him and they stood still.
Finally in an attempt to console the chieftain, he spoke.
My liege, was it wrong of us to trust in others,
Or wrong in trusting too much of ourselves?
Beckon your wise counsel upon my ears so to disclose facts to the village
As to why you and your household have kept quiet for so long.
We need the reassurance of our great leader to change the situation.
My lord answer me, please. I beg of you.
As he was about to make for the door, he turned again and gave a sigh-
Looking from the old, pencil-drawn portrait of the chieftain to his grave
That accompanied the mound in the backyard.
Goodbye, my chief, if only we had one last time.

(Inspired by a visit to a nearby village outlined the theme of the poem,
where the house of chieftain and family feel they are left behind and
forgotten in a modern and fast-paced world.)