Distant Worlds

Saturday.
A brisk, October morning
welcomed me
as I stepped outside
for a quiet stroll
before the lunch crowd
came racing back to their homes.
That familiar breeze,
carrying upon it the scent
of the roses that lined the sidewalk,
brought comfort to me,
and I pulled my jacket tighter
and made my way to the park
that lay just short of a mile
from where I lived.

Something about this time of year
in particular brought about
a peculiar sense of contemplation,
and I often found myself
looking forward to this season
for its introspective nature alone.
I came upon the park
and memories set
in sepian tone came flooding through me.

It was here I first learned to ride a bike,
to play baseball with my dad,
my first heartbreak,
and it was here
that I could look deep within myself
and discover.
I parked myself on old wooden bench,
worn with time,
and just watched the people
that were there.

A couple of guys
playing some pick-up basketball.
The sing-song laughter
of children as they swung through the air
held back only by the chains of their swing.
The barking of dogs
As they frolicked in the warm grass.
New mothers
pushing their little ones
in strollers with their friends.
But there was one person
in particular
that caught my attention.

A young boy,
a shock of auburn hair
upon his head,
and freckles dotting their way
across his face,
just below his eyes.
His eyes were a sad blue
like the sky after a summer shower,
but how they dazzled,
that day.
He couldn’t have been
much older than seven,
yet he played alone,
just as I used to.
In his hand
he held a stick
with just a slight curve
at the end,
and he waved it around
in an incredibly precise manner.

Now,
to the untrained eye,
one might think this was just a stick.
But I knew better;
this simple stick
was Excalibur,
sword of legend,
and he was fending off
whatever vile beasts
dared encroach upon his kingdom.
With smart parries
and daring stabs,
one by one
his foes fell
and he emerged victorious.

Out of breath,
he sat down underneath
one of the many oak trees
that grew within that park,
and cast his gaze to the heavens.
I saw myself
in this young
Warrior of Light,
and I was reminded
of the many days and nights
where I slew my own
imaginary dragons.

And yet,
a cruel sadness swept over me,
for soon,
he will come to discover
that this world
is not ready for heroes
like him,
heroes that will take up the sword
and defend that which he holds sacred.
I had this overwhelming urge to warn him,
to tell him of the dangers that plague this
wretched world.
To prepare him for the unwinnable war
that claims all in its wake.
To tell him to take that chance
on that girl who changed everything
he thought he knew,
to tell him to never take a damn thing
for granted.

I rose,
and walked to him.
The autumn leaves fell
in what felt like slowed time,
the sun radiating its warmth
from amidst silver clouds.
I came to him,
and stopped,
his blue eyes met mine
and I swear
that for a brief second,
a spark of recognition
lit behind his eyes,
as if we were brothers-in-arms
in another life,
in another time.
What do I say to him?
What do I warn him about?
What could I possibly say
to prepare him
for the darkness?

“What is it, mister?” he asks,
eyes squinting
in the autumn sun.
All I could do
was smile,
and I said
“Stay good, kiddo.”

Stay good.

~LT

15 thoughts on “Distant Worlds

  1. strange indeed that this poem of yours turned up as soon as I posted the β€œmean season” snippet… the internet is a scary, if wonderous, sphere. will read with laughter more lunarian

    Liked by 1 person

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