A Story

Photo by Michael Jones

By Michael Jones

After Scott Erickson

The sixteenth summer was subtle,

spilling over with delight,

illuminated by strands

of soft-spun sunlight, winding into infinity

in directions I could not see.

I still labored in those days,

breaking my body, my burden,

beneath morning and evening sun,

that I might be made strong.

Graduation, a gateway, laid a dream to rest,

burying that possible path

in a past placed well beyond my reach.

So I went away for a while,

wandering until I found my home.

With it, I found my voice.

I was given a pen and skeleton,

asked to bring a sonnet to life.

I obeyed, building fourteen lines

with novice rhymes

and a meter I had not perfected.

My voice, a long shackled creature,

was cut loose as I learned to speak

in another tongue,

one I had sought since birth.

I received rejections

from the schools I dreamed of,

sentenced to slim choices,

places near and far afield,

shadowed in uncertainty.

These days, I have learned

that some dreams must die.

My found voice and I understand.

They are my kin, ashes to ashes.

Still, on the other side, light knows no death.

I can learn to live again.

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