If I could go back through all the rainy mornings
to Larkspur Loop where birches dangled catkins
and laced their ghostly shoes against the sky
to find that pudgy troubled boy at work
on smudgy maps of mountain-studded lands
and marshes wherein dwell unnaméd horrors,
what would I say?
I'd say hang on. You'll find your people;
they'll find you. You'll find your work.
Mike Ribka, who makes your life a misery,
he's going to stock shelves at the local mall
till his heart gives out at fifty. The boys
who fly around the track now will forget,
go fat and feeble, and waddle from garage
to door, while you ride in the rain,
in your prime when they are old.
Those muscles you craved -- not showy
bulging biceps, but cables curling
shoulder to elbow? You'll get them
without ever seeing a gym,
from walking your fists up oiled spines,
and planing hamstrings with your ulna-blades.
You'll be pudgy forever, poor kid! But strong
as an ox, and indefatigable.
Your eyes will be
blue as paint and full of mischief:
you're fated to be loved and understood.
Your longing to write of heroes far away
will dwindle. Because gods
and goddesses are coming to this world,
here, the world of green beans and potatoes,
to be friends and lovers, heralds from countries
much stranger and farther
than Koshtra Pivrarcha or the coasts of Demonland.
The poets are coming. Just wait it out.
The world is not going to be made of Tolkien
and stashed Playboys forever. The shame
is going to unravel, the straw will spin to gold,
and this earth, here, will be the miracle. Hang on.