Miles to Bethlehem

In a tiny town, the graveyard mist coils around the headstones of dreams lost to the first frost of reality gathering on the tips of the grass on the lawns of the adults, who were once children with their wildest dreams and never-evers, now cold as the approaching snow. They will have children soon, and will teach them to think realistically. But children cannot be contained -- they have their wings as their parents had theirs, and the cages the adults buy for the children seem to always be much too small.

I sit on the brink of the darkness here, watching the snow gather in foreboding clouds on the horizon, an adult but a child, stuck somewhere in transition. It never fails to cross my mind: will I become like my parents, carved in stone, delivering flowers to the graves of the lives they used to live, with 'rest in peace' scrawled across their faces? Cold as the driven snow, as the fog at my feet? I like to think not. I like to think I will be a far better parent than they, stretching out the tiny fingers and hands of my children for them to touch the stars.

Someday, I will be gone, to where the orange lights of a city dominate the stars. There, I may fit in, which is something I could never manage to do here. But my leaden legs can barely move my cinder block feet. The mist extends its fingers, catching on the hem of my jeans, begging me to stay with it a while longer. As if nineteen years wasn't enough.

Where is my destiny? What am I meant to be doing? Can I find it in the city? In this drearily backwater town, with its churches and traditions and intolerance? Questions make my head spin. For now, at least, I can reflect before leaving on the September breeze, instead of constantly asking how many miles to Bethlehem.

The End

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