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Gut-wrenched and torn I stand, my eyes pierced by this wretched reflection of a well-respected man. Their judgment tainted and twisted by the all-knowing norm, as I’m crowned a success for what I have, not who I am. I’m thick with life, swollen with pride, passion-struck, with all true my feelings set aside, rolled away and tucked up!


So many times my reckless river of hope was beaten, bruised and bound to the whipping post. They fed me control, rolled over my dreams, and somewhere in this garden of madness, mine is the future they envy most. Without their wicked sense of control they all scurry. As I kick their crystal ball, and jam a stick in their spokes, this whipping boy breaks their rhythm and feeds the fury!


Don’t try to break or mold my world. The newfound power of me is stronger than any marching army of nations with heads held high, flags unfurled. I’ll show them a clearer side of life their knowledge hasn’t allowed them to see. I’ll crawl from my straight jacket and show them an illustrious creature, never thought to roam or be. I’ll show them a person stained by society, living, when daring to be themselves and choosing to be free. Maybe a complete rendition, will allow them to hear the blind man when he says,


“who we can be, is all we need to see.”


If, and only if, my love-lined blood was wearing a frown, could I be so weak to get pummeled, tattered and thrown around. World be ready, for the wounded smile it wears emits an aggressive fog, leading my soldiers from the mountains to the ground. There’s a place earmarked for earth’s most radiant fountain. The place my soldiers and I will stand, as lightening reigns, on top this love-struck mountain!


Deep beneath our armor lies a restless, rushing flow. Reach down and loosen the gate for there are forests, rivers and skies to let go. Does being together in this world really mean being apart? Can we ever fill ourselves with enough mutual passion, to prevent an end, leading to another start? Can we ever see past our egos and reach for a time when we’re a passionate band of sisters and brothers? Will the height of our raging emotions always over shadow the width and depth of footprints in our lives, left by others? With a darkening sky, I fear these hardened footprints will disappear in the wind-blown sand. Let’s blind ourselves with optimism and remember the future, when all we needed to see, was who we can.


By Todd A. Elliott