Wanted: One Love Poem

Congratulations! In your life, you'll do absolutely nothing. You'll quietly, with only a murmured protest, fade out some night under the stars which you admire and fear. Stars, you know, go out with a bang--but not you, oh no, you'll just dwindle. Your life will be chronicled entirely in want ads. For Sale: several dreams, still in original packaging. For Sale: one life, opened, but never used. Wanted: one love poem. Wanted: 10 seconds of courage.

Oh, but Mommy gave you a gold star on your most recent offering. Both you and I know you didn't try at all, but she told you, "it's the thought that counts," and rewarded you with a kiss. Crackling and brittle, that thin paper heart onto which you childishly scrawled "love" in purple crayon. Silly! Don't you know it's supposed to be pink or red?

Ah, but it's not a failure, you only made it to wad up into your back pocket when you're through. Soon to be misplaced like those other toys you adored when you were young: carelessly dropped into the sand, sold in Dad's garage sale. Easily laid aside and forgotten, that's your real triumph. Congratulations, you coward.