The Puppet Masters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
We had an assignment in Language Arts to write a "Know Thyself" Poem. I wrote about the two sides of myself, depicted as puppet masters.

Submitted: August 27, 2012

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Submitted: August 27, 2012




The Puppet Masters

There are three of me.

One is the puppet

That people see

The other two are the masters,

Invisible to others

Like Persephone and Hades

Always at war with each other

But forced to work together


The first master

Seemingly omnipotent and fearless

Speaking her mind without apprehension

She was the one who

Got in the thick, stuffy uniform

She walked into Lucas Oil Stadium with me

And helped perform the best show

That the marching band

Had ever done that season

Her heart pounds with mine

Adrenaline pulsing through our veins

Unable to be stopped

Until the show drew to a close

And she told me,

“See what happens when you show

All that you are capable of?

Why be humble and meek

When you can tread across

The world if you want to.”

But sometimes, unfortunately

She gets a little overexcited

And gets me into situations

Where I don’t belong

And that is precisely where

The second master comes in.


The second master

Is not so bold

She constantly whispers

In my ear: “Are you sure

You want to say that?

Do you really think

You can do that?”

And when she asks that

I start to second-guess

And my self-confidence sinks

As if she had punctured a hole

In the boat of my assurance

But it’s not always for the worse

She has saved me many times

When it came to trying

To find exactly the right words

Or exactly the right actions

In certain situations

When people tell me what to do

Or are nagging me

She whispers in my ear

To do as they say without complaint

Just nod and say yes

And as reluctant as I am

I rejoice in the end

For the ones who snapped back

Fully regretted doing so.

She fights to keep me innocent

To keep me following the rules

To keep a clean record

Persuading me to be

A good girl

A good puppet

Like a mother with her toddler

She watches constantly


The two masters walk

Hand in hand

Wherever I go

Like the small angel and devil

That sit on your shoulders

And whisper and sneer in your ear

Even though others only see

One of me

They don’t know about the war

That goes on around me

Someone waves at me in the hall

The first master waves my hand

While the second holds her hand

Over my mouth

I continue to walk down the hall

The second master holding my head

So it tilts down

And my eyes are focused on the ground

Averting other eyes.


My first day of school

My second master took over

Almost completely

Forcing my eyes to stare

At my binder as if

It were the most interesting thing

In the world

She kept my mouth clamped

Letting little escape

In hopes to keep her puppet

From being made fun of

I wanted to ask questions

I was confused, I needed to learn

For I know I didn’t know everything

I wanted to be the wise person

That Socrates spoke of

But she wouldn’t let me

In fears that her precious puppet

Would be laughed at.


My first master, I must admit

I am much fonder of

She lets me be free, be myself

And sometimes

Even gives me a push

“Be as you wish to seem!”

She shouts,

And I love to believe her

I want to seem happy

I want to seem outgoing

And I want to seem interesting

But sometimes she goes too far

And I end up making a fool of myself

While my second master

Wags her finger and says,

“I told you so.”


As tedious as it is

Having two masters

That constantly quarrel

About the least pertinent things

I found out eventually

That they really need each other

As much as I need both of them

They form a stable balance

That keeps their puppet

From getting hurt (most times)


While my first master tells me

To bend the rules,

The second stops me before I break them.

While the second tells me

To wait for the perfect opportunity,

The first gives me the push

To seize it as soon as it comes.

The first tells me to let loose,

While the other argues

That I’m not very close to the people around me

And I would be looked at strangely

If I acted in ways

They didn’t understand.


They are my Ron and Hermione

One looking for adventure

The other keeping me in line.

Combined, my two masters

Are like Ying and Yang,

But take only one,

And you’ve got a mess

No matter which one you take.

One is too quiet

Forever holding her tongue

Never fighting back when she should

The other is too loud

A little strange, in a way

Never wanting to take the safe road

Only wanting to sail down the highway.

 Sometimes one takes over

Sometimes the other

Depending on what situation I’m in

But it is never for long.


And yet…

Some days I wonder

If I can ever combine them

And create a perfect balance

For how I should act around everyone

Of course, there is no perfect.

I just have to keep switching

From casual and open

To polite and quiet

Even with people my own age.

But that’s just who I am

I can’t decide who I want to be

I may never decide

But that’s okay,

As long as I have

Both of my masters.

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