We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Robert G Wertzler

You think you own the castle?
You are the late comer.
Even your noble ancestors were.
We were here before this was built
Already here when ancient trees
Were felled to make a simple hill fort
Sacred trees they were too, ours
We watched when stone (ours too)
Was carved from the hill to build
These walls and halls
We tasted the blood of defenders
And that of attackers, as we did
The sacrifices of ages past and
That of suicides and murders
And of drunk men who fell off
The walls, and workers crushed
By stones in the building, and
Of women’s flow and birthing’s rush
And every other creature
From greatest to smallest
That has ever bled in this place
Take care, mortal, offend us not
Lest we hunger for yours.


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

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