To-do or Not To-do

Every time I think of
The Future,
It becomes
Some grave labor.
The lists of to-do's
Too quickly become don't-want-to's.
I dispatch each item in surly spirits;
Failing that, I wade in guilt
For wasting the day.

I indulge myself without cause,
Then withhold the wages of true achievements.
I do hold the greatest reward in front of me,
Like some surreal carrot dangling over me,
And I hope it's really
As delicious as it looks;
But this alone cannot serve
To make me a greater man:
Forced marches urged on with contempt,
Necessities and learning experiences offered as punishments.
Wake up, cruel task-master!
Life is not a battle
And this is not the infantry!

George Chadderdon © 1995