In the Wings

All alone on the stage tonight

I’m not afraid, or so I’m told.
I know these lines, I’ve spoken them scores of times.
I always, always hit my mark.
I head the bill in my own humble show
I come in proud and clean
I know I’ll leave empty and scarred
I give it all, you know?
I don’t leave any in the reserve because that’s not the me I know. Both feet. Full immersion. 
The scars won’t be my own, but I’ll own them for a time. 
Proud to carry the hurt, the words, the ugly

The boy on the playground, delivering soliloquies to the swings, sonnets to the slide.
Picking up his trash and tucking it into his (lunchbox), heading home through the soft rain and the hard, pointed jeers.
… and the green.
Despite the taunts, all that haunts
Are the smell of the good earth
And the color of the tree filtered sunset.

It’s a spotlight, and he’s almost home.

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