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Life Abundant This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Spring has arrived in the Grand Canyon.

As we hike from the river basin

On a day the color of sapphire.

Pollen dusts the air, and I

Lay a bridge over puddles of mule mud

The color of old urine and Aspen leaves, nascent, crisp -

New like me.



I breathe in the cool blue warmth

Of sunshine bathing my spring sprung

Youth, and I smile to think

Of home, of Phoenix, of School Bus rides

Past towering palm trees, and Sunday

Morning climbs in my grapefruit tree

By my backyard pool shiny, clean -

New like me.



My grandfather's voice is a lullaby in tune

With the desert wind after a day together

Making mudpies, giggling, gamboling,

Throwing rocks for the old gray dog to fetch.

Kelev, whose heart gave in, who fetched no more

The spring my Grandpa died.

That spring that stole my best playmates was

New to me.



Desert wind, my grandfather's voice silenced.

Family dispersed by absence of that voice.

Dispersed. Distended. We moved eastward

Away from the sun and into the mud

Of April in New England braced, quivering

In the mud of running sap and drizzling skies.

Life was ancient here, tired, too

New to me.



Springs pass. My legs grow long and long

To hurtle me victoriously over sylvan finish lines.

I race from my past into my will-be-past.

Freedom hums before me; I grab

The steering wheel and speed my journey

Forward, toward a shaft of sunlight

Down a cloudy highway, not quite so new -

Just like me.



I sing a new song in my own deep voice

In a tongue still babble, breathing desert wind,

Woodland earth and sunlight. I am

Aspen, joshua, elm and maple ...

Bursting, blooming, quivering joy,

Expectant, I expand from youth and burst

Into the challenge and the fear that's old and new -

Just like me.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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