Smudged Ink

January 5, 2012
Erasers don’t ever finish the job.
My life was once a pure, blank page
Wishing for a pen to touch its surface,
But ignorant of the damage the permanent ink would cause.

All my life I had been sheltered.
I never saw the dark skies full of foreboding clouds.
I never saw the bolts of hot, white energy that shattered the atmosphere,
Set on destruction.

What I saw were only translucent, tissue paper clouds against the vast blue skies.
I saw a beautiful world filled with nature and wonderful, caring people.
I saw clear glass ponds reflecting the stars on a cool, summer night.
I smelled the flowers, played in the ocean, jumped in piles of leaves, and built snowmen.
I saw only the façade of happiness and perfection,
And I believed it.

Then the garden was trampled, the ocean dried up,
The leaves were taken away and the sun melted the white, winter wonderland.
I began to see the real world.
I saw real people cry, their dreams shattered like broken glass.
I saw them try to pick up the pieces, but they only cut their fingers on the sharp edges, like knives.
I saw them silently crying out for help, but everyone was too busy to care.

I didn’t understand this world.
How could people just pretend that they didn’t see?
They walked through bloodied streets.
They passed by blinded with their passive hearts.
In the streets people waited for someone who could save them.

I saw a boy, who grew up among needles and alcohol.
He didn’t know any other path to take,
And so he chose the only way he ever saw anyone live.

I saw a girl, whose father had raped her.
She tried to scratch out what had been etched onto her once pure paper,
But the cuts didn’t satisfy her need to find love and acceptance.

I saw a man, who lost his job.
With no way to support his family,
He feared they would all be homeless.

I saw a woman, beaten and bruised.
Though she tried to cover up her wounds,
Everything she felt was revealed in her eyes.

I saw the real world,
Full of real people, with real pain,
But I didn’t know how to help them,
And that scared me.

My blank page was filled with black scratches.
I wanted to erase everything I had seen, not just for me,
For them, too.
But it doesn’t work that way.
The world is covered in darkness.
I see it now.
I won’t just ignore it simply because it’s not the kind of world I wish it was.

Erasers don’t ever finish the job,
They leave smudges and scars.
But no matter how many smudges cover the paper,
New words can always be written.

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