29 - An Autobiography in Free Verse


There were 29 boys and men in a tranquil glen

somewhere between the whitewashed mountains

that marked the beginning and the end

of their known world.


They talked,

they laughed,

they wept,

around a fire

built by two hands,

lit by one match,

breathing the same air they breathed.


Five of them didn't have much to say,

just the occasional odd comment or memory.


Seven were full of laughter

and ephemeral tears.

They couldn't quite stay on topic.


Four were somber indeed -

their sky-colored eyes pierced,

profound memories

of deep loss and deep joy.


The next two were vivacious.

Like children born a second time,

enthusiastic to a fault,

they jumped on every conversational bandwagon,

or started their own,

with unmistakable assurance

that they alone were correct.


Five more had the most exciting stories,

the most wondrous tales,

and a craving for knowledge

that couldn't be satisfied.


One was the most sorrowful of the lot.

Aged, weathered, cracked,

with a penetrating, unblinking stare,

evidencing that deep, ancient wisdom

the others had only heard about:

Heartbreak.


But three had known the others so long,

that they spent the most time

asking the Heart-Broken One

to tell his tale

again and again

and again and again,

gleaning new insights from each retelling.


The last one stood quietly,

observing them all from a distance:

the ebbs and flows of conversation,

the synergy of their fellowship,

wondering: who lit the fire?

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©2019 by Corey Farr.