Everybody Thinks They’re the Next Big Thing

He’s standing at the crossroads
too excited to be terrified and
you would shake your head,
if you could, because you
know what’s ahead.

You want to
warn him that
wiser men would
turn and run.

But you’ve met many
boys like him before.

Straining for
power and glory
in the name of
progress and
a displaced sense
of civic duty.

So you just stand there.

And that’s where you stay,
long after this latest boy
has disappeared
over the horizon.

Whether he turns
to dust on the journey
or succeeds in his quest
is not for you to know.

The sphinx at the gate,
watchful eyes burning.
The number of little boys that I have met over the years who are convinced they are going to change the world almost makes me sick to my stomach. Mostly because many of them have gone on to be perfectly productive, let me stress – average, members of society. And that’s ok. I wonder if they lie in bed at night next to their wives dreaming of the lives they thought they were going to have…

Also, a little behind the scenes for you. In an effort to #writemorepoems, I’m sitting at my desk at lunch trying to figure out what to write. We have a kid shadowing us this month, so after searching for a prompt with nothing hitting, I decided to write about him. For some reason I can’t explain, the Sphinx Gate from the Neverending Story ended up in my head. And then I had to research it a little to feel confident in writing the poem correctly.

And this is what comes of it.

Don’t ask me to explain my process, guys. I can tell you how I do it, but not why or where it comes from!


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