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Enough Now

Emily Mathers

No matter how many times

our mothers told us not to

look into the sun,

we couldn’t resist its radiant beauty.

So we kept on looking,

then shut our eyes tight, and marveled

at the flaming streaks

of red that swam behind our eyelids.

Now we look at friends, acquaintances

just long enough to exchange a quick smile,

a nod.

Maybe we don’t look at all.

We don’t look into eyes long

enough to notice the color of the iris.

Let alone to notice the soul inside.

To see the tangled mess

of joy, hope, fear, sadness that makes

us human.

We are old enough now to know that it is not polite to stare.


You and I, we fell from that old

tree when we were young.

We slipped off that worn

branch after a spring rain,

bruised ourselves all over,

broke an arm.

And the day we got our cast off,

we climbed that tree again.

We weren’t afraid

of anything.

Now we paint our glass hearts gray,

paint the illusion of a stone

wall. Can’t let anybody see

inside. Can’t let anybody take

what we can’t afford to give.

We are old enough now to know that a broken heart hurts more than a broken arm.


We used to splash in puddles

after a storm.

during a storm.

red rubber boots.

bare feet.

lightning. thunder. gale. no matter.

Splish splash soaked.

Now we schedule our days

hour by hour and minute by minute. If we

have time to sleep at night,

we’re falling short. We promise to call our loved ones

tonight.

Or tomorrow.

Or the next day. No,

the next. We don’t think we’ll host that party again

this year.

We are old enough now to know that time is too valuable to waste

on something so foolish as joy.


Together, we can raise a generation

that’s forgotten how to fall

in love with the world.

A generation numb to heartache

and to beauty.

A generation that holds too tightly

to things that fade too quickly.
We are old enough now to say enough is enough now.

Enough hiding.

Enough fear.

Enough seconds slipping through our fingertips

like wet sand.

We can raise a generation to know the truth

That every heartache holds a glimmer of beauty.

Fall, 2017 Issue