As a young boy, the poems held the future as a rose. But what do young boys know of roses? He knows only of those poems that he is read, and to what child does a parent read a rhyme of anything other than sunshine and rainbows and truth? So, he believes in the reality of the fantasy.
But the fantasy is tarnished. The poems echo, hollow in his heart. Prayers are cried in haste, trying to recall the fantasy. Because promises lay in waste at his feet as he stands, waiting, at the screen door, praying the promises he’s been given will come true. That he will be met, at the door. Pleading for something he doesn’t even quite understand but knows he wants, he needs. The evening rings empty as another promise lies broken at his feet. Another prayer is unanswered. Another poem is a lie.
Careful to avoid being hurt by the broken pieces, he steps around them, thinking he is not touched by the jagged shards, but they embed in his shoes. Following him, wherever he steps, though time.
The little boy, now a man, stands at the screen door. Remembering the lie of the poems of the past. Now is the time to write his own poem. A poem that paints the future as a rose. What does a man know of roses? He knows of the thorns, but the thorns have taught him how to handle a rose. He thinks he knows. But as he writes, his hands are pricked and he bleeds, staining his own poem of the future. And the jagged shards of promises past, make scars on the path he treads.
The little boy, now a man, doesn’t understand prayers for they have left him untouched with their non-existent answers. He feels the pain, the bitterness and the wanting. For what he is not sure. But he knows he wants. The pieces that go missing leave him searching. Yet he searches in vain. Afraid to pray, unwilling to pray, he searches . . . in vain.
The little boy, inside of the man, tries to write the poem. But without the prayers, the promises he makes fall in pieces around his feet as he stands at the screen door. His promises are carried away like chaff on the threshing floor in the presence of the wind. He tries to be different, oh how he tries. But until the little boy inside of the man, is let go to heal, and grow, there will be no change. He has kept it all these years. He has kept his pain, as fresh after all this time as a new fallen snow.
The acceptance of the imperfections of the old poems, of the answers to prayers not seen but indeed present, of the promises broken not in malice but in self-absorption, will lead to the little boy inside becoming a man of his own promises. Forgiveness is not condoning the wrong, or righting the past. Forgiveness is robbing the wrong of the ability to hurt life, to mar the future, cleansing the poison that eats away at who we are. It is the healing of the wound from the inside to the outside. Forgiveness presents the gift of clarity, of sight. Forgiveness of the past is the key to the future as a rose.
The man, stands at the screen door. The key cradled in his hand. Poems in his heart. Promises on his lips. Emptiness at his feet. And the future before him, as a rose.