The Runaway

He looked up the railroad tracks,
melancholy descending onto his shoulders,
like blackbirds on a power line.

Running away, trading one set
of ambiguities for another,
was no solution, he knew.
Yet no worse than slowly suffocating—
gossamer threads binding him
ever tighter, heading inevitably
toward a death-like visage,
frozen, immobile.

Stepping outside his own situation,
just a pace, just enough to see
the intractability of it,
the uselessness of struggle,
he felt something like hope emerge.
A new vision—silent, stronger, free—
began to take its rightful place
among his array of selves. . .

But as he walked along the tracks,
the sense of possibilities now lost
welled up, and a tear slowly
dropped down to his feet. . .
then the crunch of boots in the silence,
embers glowing behind him,
lighting his way forward,
into the dark.

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