Chronicles
William Stapleton

October noontime freshman air:
All Beach Boys and Rudy’s youngest son.
The making of me: I’ve got to get it right.
            Sherry baby, won’t you come out tonight?

Café food smelled something like home, so
I headed off in that direction,
across the grass in a more-or-less line,
            She’s real fine my 409!

What do I know? Highwater Levis and Pendleton shirts.
A whole world:  4 friends and a Japanese bike?
“So, this is life.” I thought.  “This I can do!”
            Hey Paula, I want to marry you.
           
Microcosm of a passing reality.
Embarrassment the worst you’d endure.
Then Richard and Lynn and the others would fall;
Engraved in stone on a long, black wall.
Reality’s frigid slice, the cruellest cut of all.

Innocence wasted, spiraling down
to rebellious chemical darkness.
Days of white depression; nights of psychedelic dread.
            Remember what the doormouse said:  “Feed your head!”

Body wracked and aching, needing that one thing
covering my head; looking only at my feet
your voice streaming from the brightness of day.
            I closed my eyes and she walked away.

Then burning hot and learning to stand
free to be me as created.  New start, second chance
to walk upright, albeit with bruise and scar,
            I’m wonderin’ where the lions are.

                        Scars tell us where we’ve been; they don’t have to define our future.

           

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Chronicles by William Stapleton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.