Photo 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.