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A few words might satisfy

The feverish yearning of my soul

for some master-thought,

That should guide me

Through this labyrinth of life,

Teaching wherefore I was born,

And how to do my task on earth,

And what is death.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, from Monsieur du Miroir



When the shadow is lifted,

There’s the only the boy,

And the first thing he does

Is become a man,

(Maybe sensing himself for the first time)

The buffer is gone; it’s him alone,

And a great wonder swells in his mind,

What can I do?

His eyes focus

On the yellow of the weeping willow against snow,

The sun caught and frozen there,

And he hears and turns his head

toward the cardinal whose red coat flashes

In front of him, like blood against snow.

He thinks of his dad standing amazed

at that same blood-red plumage,

And the man before him,

and before him, and so on.

There is nothing he can do now, at this time,

Except reflect and build energy

toward his own springtime,

And picture himself budding there,

His roots laid deep in the soil of his ancestry,

Their many failings,

(He still feels it)

Their many successes,

All of it now merging.

He knows, this will be his own final push,

Man, alone, stripped,

Stretching his whole being toward a sun

That is so often obscured,

So often, radiant and warm.