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Ode to Youth

Ode to Youth

      for Jack Agüeros

Live now.
Search
for dreams
that fill you
with life.
Avoid
strange jungles
with headhunters
and traps
that
skin you alive.
Avoid haters
who do not
love you
or themselves,
who poison
the world
with
bitter meals.
Survival
is the art
of living.
Joy
is found
within.

One day
you will not
remember
all that was
so urgent
and precious,
bridges of hope
you crossed,
brass rings
you caught,
high heels
you hunted,
diamonds
you desired,
quiet mornings
when mockingbirds
sang you awake
in summer
from trees
outside your window,
the calm rush
of ocean waves
and squealing gulls
riding the wind.

All memories
of these things
will dissolve
and with them
will go
the hurt
of a thousand
insincerities
and rejections,
bad feelings
from angry words
when
your beloved ran
to another,
contractions,
painful births
and the ones
that were pulled
from your
sacred womb.

You will forgive
your enemies
when the reasons
for hating

have disappeared.
The evening news
will be a jumble
of depraved ranting
and
incoherent stories
of warring tribes.

One day
nothing more
will matter
than eating
and sleeping.
You will
no longer crave
endearing embraces
that held you
through nights
of passion
or those
tender kisses
across your face
that sent
your heart
racing
into bliss.
You will stop
waiting
for the touch
of another’s hand
in yours
reaching
into your soul
or
the caring caress
of their body
in your bed.
The years
of nurturing
and growing
old together
will cease
to exist.
The flood
of birthdays,
anniversaries
and exchanges
of gifts
will fade
into
the great distance
of forgetfulness.

One day
everyone
will see
that your spirit
has
long departed.
What remains
will be
an empty shell,
a shadow
devoid
of dreams,
a hollow tree,
dried
and broken
without scent
or
the sweetness
of blossoms
that celebrate
life.

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Sandra María Esteves. Published by permission in Centro Voices on 10 April 2015.