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Tonight, once more, I sleep on the ground,
so that another will not have to;
another post, another round,
soon enough another's to do.

For some time, it felt like quitting, to leave, to repeal,
passing the torch a betrayal somehow;
of old friends, an old ideal,
of my promise to myself and others, my vow.

I've only just realized that feeling is wrong,
that another will flawlessly fill my boots;
that if you're somewhere you truly don't belong,
'tis no treason to pull up your roots.

I've known it's what I need, that for me it's right,
for many a post, many a day, many a year;
yet only now, approaching the proverbial light,
at tunnel's end does it all feel clear.

Feeling trapped oft makes one feel out of place,
out of sorts, missing pieces, out of self;
one hundred and forty six days to the end of my race,
and I'm taking old, precious pieces of me off the shelf.

On this road, I've been lost and I've been broken,
and some of those times are scant days behind;
yet through deeds done and words spoken,
I know I'm not far from what I've needed to find.

The me I've always wanted, always sought,
the man I've always known I must come to be;
the idea that he already was, I was told but fought,
thanking the praise, but thinking that wasn't yet me.

On this road, he's tried so hard to surface,
but too many times my demons had my ear;
hatred of it has become almost my purpose,
drowning out the man screaming, "I'm here!"

Yet as this self-imposed sentence draws to a close,
his voice grows louder, easier to hear;
as time and effort steal all import from my foes,
I feel more like an old self, and that dream held dear.

What I didn't know until now, didn't get,
was that to go forward, a step back was due;
taking pieces off of that inner shelf, to wit,
was the old part of the mixture of before and new.

I've finally glanced just right at the mirror,
seen what I'd set aside as a goal for another day;
I saw another in my eyes when I drew nearer,
that man once more, asking if this time he can stay.

So tonight, for once, I sleep better on the ground,
so that another will not have to;
another post, another round,
soon enough another's to do.

Copyright © Andy Sprouse | Year Posted 2016


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