I Am Youth's Soldier - Poem by Amberlee Carter
When the autumn arrived, early.
You were sure of it,
the same way you are always confident
in your favorite things:
Books by your favorite author, poetry by the greats-
Hot showers and sleepless nights when you think you've
outdone yourself by writing the epitome of your legacy-
only to smile in defeat the next morning
because upon rereading it,
you realize, there is another, even greater one than this,
just waiting to be revealed because
greatness is something you were gifted with.
You knew it was there, by the way the brisk air
made your morning coffee sting your upper lip
a bit more harshly than on the summer mornings.
And you knew it, and you felt it. the trees said so.
And you felt a kinship with them, a resignation, because
you never wanted the warm days to go.
It always birthed a sense of abandonment in you,
almost the same you felt when you were 5 years old,
just beginning school.
It was goodbye in the hardest sense:
mother would watch you walk away from the door,
but you would be brave and not cry, or so you told yourself.
Then as soon as you rounded the corner, you'd break down.
It was ok to cry then, it was good, sturdy catharsis for the soul.
There are few times in life that I can say it is ok to weep,
or to mourn or even to, God forbid, hold on.
And this was one of those times,
it was ok to feel insignificant, or left out
It was ok that you would always want more than what was available.
More days, so hot, the ice cubes you'd put in your lemonade melted before you could get them into your glass.
More nights, you spent tracking constellations,
swaying to a choir of crickets.
Those were the best times and now they were over,
that's what made you melancholy, and rightly so.
You would have to begin preparing yourself for the winter,
it would be a harsh one.
Even if the snow didn't fly until December,
or if you're lucky, January.
You would have to prepare yourself by buying books
to keep you company-
By stocking the pantry with familiarity.
Things to make you feel more at home, even though this house,
this shell in which you harbor your existence,
was just a waiting room for something more.
You new that for sure, there was a calling, a voice,
perhaps the echo of God himself, telling you
it was only for a short time.
And when the time came, you'd be ready to mount your quest,
to go where the inner compass destined you.
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