What I Once Believe When I Was Young - Poem by RIC BASTASA

idealism was the first thing i believe in
that the good triumphs
that the bad at the end is vanguished and buried
the corrupt is hanged and the people shall clap their hands
while the flag flies
in the free air, while the women dance in our liberties
while the men take pride
in the wars that they have fought and won,
that justice prevails
that the criminal is always caught and put to jail because
crime does not pay,
that the rich may soon become poor because in accordance with the
cycle of fortunes
no one is poor forever
that the only possibility of those who are up is always to go down

then one day i notice some white locks of hair in my head
my lips crack, my cheeks have wrinkles and my forehead has
a number of furroughs
my skin dry, my nose falling on my chin,
the changes, oh, the changes,
in myself have become the

and then, all of the sudden, the idealism is gone,
like how government is toppled by another government
like how a charismatice leader is shot and another
seemingly charismatic leader takes the reigns,
only to find
one robber displacing another robber
and this keeps on happening for years, until one day

i find myself standing in one corridor staring to the space beyond me
to the far mountain to some grey skies
it looks it will rain all day in my life

i look at myself in the mirror
to find this ugliness in myself and in everything else

it is dark, it is what we call a nice evening and then we do nothing
but turn off the light and sleep

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 17, 2008

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