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Submitted on
August 9, 2013
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Information these days is always moving us,
sweeping us along in a relentless wind
of news flashes, tweets, texts, likes...

But today I saw something that stopped me.
A single fragment among the ten thousand
flashing past my eyes
caught them.

It was no global catastrophe.
No illness, no casualty,
no celebrity gossip.
In summary, it was
one word
about two people,
one of whom I have not met.

And yet that tuft of a story,
cosmically weighing less
than the drifting seed of a dandelion,
stopped me in my tracks
like the rasp of a bolt sliding into place
on the other side of the door you just passed through,
the door marked "How Things Were".

"Engaged".

Such an adult word.
Such a responsble word.
A word that implies regularity,
reliability, restraint.
A word that implies
there will be no more
"study session until 3am because
we are so going to get our asses kicked by this exam
but we would rather go down with too little sleep
than go down with too little fight".

Although 'graduated' sort of says that too.
And it's already been over a year since those
late night grocery runs,
the energy drinks
and the alcoholic ones.
The game of Battleshots in which
I learned that pulpy screwdrivers
make some of the worst shooters
while elderflower cider makes one of the nicest.

Those days are already locked in the past.
Those days when I envied your ability to study and still live
while I buried myself in textbooks and tedium.
While I relied on dreams to keep me going
you forewent sleep altogether and _experienced_.

On some level I always hoped you'd teach me how.

And I hope now that you still could if you were here.
I hope 'engaged' doesn't also mean 'ensnared',
'restricted',
'tamed'.
I hope you don't just wash-rinse-repeat
with work, home, and sleep,
but seek adventure around every corner
that lies along your way
and around a few that don't.

I hope that not as much has changed
as I fear already has.

But more than any of that,
I hope you are...
Delighted.
Astounded.
Thrilled.
Exuberant.

Merely happy doesn't cut it.

I may despise that door
that stands solidly between now and then.
I may wish it had never been built.
But time is a relentless carpenter,
and as much as we may want to keep things the same
we can only waste so much valuable energy
trying to kick down its doors and walls.
Better to instead spend that energy
where time has only gotten as far
as laying the foundation,
giving us a stage on which to build our own creations
using song and dance and kite flying and laughter and toasts.

I may despise that door.
But it does have a little window in it,
so I can still look back on what we left behind.
And I may want to move through it sometimes,
to cross the threshold back into those days
but the keyhole is only ever on the wrong side for that.
And if you were that door's eager locksmith,
it's that much easier to respect the workmanship.

Besides, as they say...
When one door closes, another opens.
The title was originally part of the opening, but I couldn't figure out how to work it in nicely... At the same time I couldn't think of what else to call it, so hopefully it makes sense.

This was written, as so many poems are, very late last night (or VERY early this morning) when I was _really_ supposed to be in bed but the one line that entered my head before turning off the light would not leave me alone until I found it some friends. (Hey look, I'm still in poetry mode). I'm not sure if the train of thought is entirely coherent or if this is just a sleepy jumble, but I'm sufficiently pleased with it for the time being. At least, pleased with parts of it and still too tired to continue tweaking the other parts.

I hope you enjoy it. :)
:iconkmkila95:
kmkila95 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2014  Student General Artist
this poem is beautiful... Many of my friends and family are currently reaching crossroads and stepping forward (or backward) in life. This poem has come at a most opportune time.
thank you
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:iconstreamwolf8:
Streamwolf8 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad you like it so much :) Thank you!!
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