Dear Childhood Dreamer,
Remember how you once believed in everything?
How, to you, anything was possible?
Remember the sparkling row of track medals hanging in your bedroom?
And how fiercely hard you worked, certain one day, you’d bring home Olympic gold?
And remember that novel?
The one you were going to get published and see on the shelf at the library?
And remember that perfect house on Riverview Drive?
How you were going to live there and have a flower garden with a pond?
And remember the cat?
You haven’t forgotten the gray tiger-striped tabby, have you?
Do you remember when dreams weren’t secrets and time wasn’t scary?
And instead of getting farther, your dreams could only get closer?
You remember, don’t you?
As I approach the threshold of middle age
I feel the cynical adult emerging
Wrapping narrow fingers around my shoulders
Pulling me towards the masses flooding by
Content to go through the motions of mediocrity
This spiteful wraith tells me it’s impossible, pointless to try
It creeps in at the corners
turning dreams of gold and polished silver
to practical stainless steel
Or, better yet, aluminum or plastic,
Then at least I won’t be disappointed.
I’ve been disappointed so many times.
I cling with both hands
to childlike optimism
to Nature’s first green
Despite it all
I still hold on.
Yes, dreams can change, do change, should change,
but I don’t want to cheapen them, to settle, to forget.
Like a beloved grandmother welcoming the little ones with sparkling eyes,
I want to look up at my dreams, embrace them, and say,
“My, my, how you’ve grown!”
Still a Dreamer