An Illumined Future

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What a contrast amidst chaotic weeks
To hear something you created held the power
To affect another to the point of tears
All that striving to fit into the life
Someone else dreamed for you,
The way you run yourself ragged
Where you don’t belong,
Doing work that subtly—or overtly

Hides the light that shines in you.

But now, as you begin to emerge
No longer contained, flame turns to fire
Consuming that life not worthy of the living
Consuming all but the irreversible, indestructible

You.

Remember that first day of grad school,
The talk of flames and fire
The way that heat began to rise in your chest
Imagining an illumined future—
Alive, wild, fierce and free.
Now, as the false ground burns,
You know,
There’s no going back.

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