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I wake each morning and hear its news;

I quickly turn off all media so it won’t color me blue.

My focus turns to the space that surrounds me and I listen for cues.

Everybody is putting on their costumes, getting ready for another hard day of hard sells as we foolishly stand naked on the mountain of epic fails watching the stone roll back down the hill.

Like grown up toddlers we all have to wear hard bottomed shoes as we traverse the rock pile, being careful to step over selfish assumptions ignorance has stockpiled.

We place our opinions in uniform,

our sensitivity is stigmatized and truth an enigma in tumescent eyes.

Our smiles etched by hammers and chisels.

The emotion needed to support it now cold and brittle.

Using brooms of censure to sweep away unrequited self reproach;

we keep our lies in place allowing them to become the host.

Dross becomes pixie dust to make wings for wishes and if it all flies away,

we’ll still have anecdotes of near misses.

Complaints parade as causes as we seek an apologist’s attention for self inflicted wounds.

Conflict assumes the guise of solution.

In silence, we’re reminded of our fragile humanity after we lose one of our own. But somehow we still manage to wax philosophical about the merits of war and revolution.

I struggle to hold on to what I’ve achieved.

I find solace in small accomplishments while others cast aspersions about what they think I believe. So I’ll walk along the edge to find the space where my spirit can be free.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Reginald Stephen is a writer incarcerated in New York.