in all my years

Music of years ago whines through the radio angstful,
The hallway picture of teenage pride and truth known only in drive--
Jaded, I close my eyes as I walk by,
Knowing, feeling, waxing unwilling to see the joy
Of naive determination

I see myself made large
High school surety, all of fifteen
Facing me, I am neither
Heathen billboard drenched in runes with hammer swinging
Tired worker mired in business with hammer lying flat on buttoned shirtfront
Myself to myself
Camera of my mind spins the perimeter of our circle,
And my self
That was my self
Raises an arm, as if to throw a punch,
And throws the finger.

Cocky, glaring, bitter staves trail sarcastically -- You'll never believe like I do.

I stretch out, all of twenty-one
And seek the words—
The lore of years hard-won,
The eldritch to break the novice rule,
And answer.

I blacken Youth's eye.

Erich Campbell

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