No more bridges to burn

An adage long past claims that a man has but one day of birth

One day during the seasons when he came into this world

When he left his mother in pain and agony

Screaming for dear life

A single day when nothing but giving life matters

Wailing to survive, to live and let live

One day in the seasons when she hanged in the brink of life and death

One route to the land of the dead, the other to care for a human being

One day of birth when it all begun, when nine full moons of a bulge became a man

A man still has but one day of birth

One day when the wet nurse turned him over, slimy and ugly, and slapped his tiny buttocks

When his wail, any man no matter how great,

Cut through the silence of the night, tranquil chirping in the morning

When women ululate and men pat each other on the back

When a feast was held and animals lost their lives

As drought years became lighter to handle

War years had hope when the child was born

Whether great or small was not which family he came to

But how he handled himself, others, his rum

No man is born great, the Bard once wrote

Greatness is a journey, a destiny to be achieved

So a man sets out to be, what his mother intends him to be

Fear does him no good, but the gods bless him with it still

Pray, what destiny do the gods plan to lead him to

If he is strong on body, let him be a blacksmith

If he is strong in spirit, let him lead the war

If he is sharp in mind, let him lead his age group

If he lacks any quality, let him till the lands

If he is a man, let him marry and make children

For any man must walk through this world in his way

He must enjoy the good things and endure the wars

He must find a destiny, and travel through the world

For the weary traveler moves at his own pace

Whether he rides on a strong animal or a dying one

A man moves at the pace he wills

The horse or donkey or camel between his legs is but a vessel

His mind, and body, and spirit are slaves

He must decide whether the gods are real

Whether his mother is a god

Whether there are pains that can be relished

Or whether sadness is a good thing

For all things present here are necessary, all things that are, should be

A man must decide his fate, or let the gods, and his mother, decide

When he does eventually pass life to another

…and in the deep of the night, a cry cuts through the dark

A woman is wailing, thrusting in pain for a child she might never love

For a child who might not live, for something that could be anything

The serene night is trouble, the owls are quiet

Darkness is speaking, men, heads bowed, listening

Weapons in hand, yet no hope in their hearts

None else matters now, for the battles must be fought

The battles must be won, until one is lost

For as the adage goes, a man has but one day of birth

All others are but anniversaries.