Power of the Past This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 1, 2011
Who made it law
that our pasts have to travel along with us
On our walk of life?
Some drag their past in the
canvas bag,
sun-tanned threads unravelling,
almost hinting at the contents.
They strain, as if pulling lead and bricks
upstream through a cascading river.
As the heavens pour their drops of fate upon them,
Inflicting stinging memories in their eyes.

But some
craft their past into wings.
They nail together a runway
out of awards, trophies, compliments, skills
that leads off of the sunrise-tinged mesa.
They sprint like a champion.
about to take the leap into the unknown,
but poised with confidence.
They believe they are
destined for greatness.

How can two humans not see eye to eye
if they're standing on the same asphalt track?

The past may be lingering
far beyond its curfew--
an unwanted house guest
that taints the present
with its negative radiation.

If your past is hindering you,
Extract it from your mind.
Light the match, and watch it as it smolders.
Avoid breathing the toxic fumes.
Bury the ashes in the wearied earth
because the past still exists, but
despite its inflexible power,
we've arrived at this moment
Stand tall.
Above the ashes from which you came.

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