Free

I’m free only when I close my eyes.
Then I am unbent and unbroken.
There is no pain nor old regret
And no one is cracking a whip,
Insisting that I should be there
By this time and in this fashion.

When I close my eyes I am free,
Still young and full of naive hope
With all my life lain before me,
Full of good times, women and song,
Whispering “relax, come and play;
Time and death will never catch you.”

But today my eyes are opened wide.
My head hurts and my body aches.
I force myself upon unsteady feet
And look to the horizon, lamenting
That while the journey is far from finished
It is at least half run.

And in the end, it will not lead me home.

Bedford Park, Illinois
January 9, 2004

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