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Jul 2012
I remember the jelly bean jar
perched next to the owlish librarian
in my school when I was younger.  
One lucky soul would win a prize
for pulling the right number of jelly beans
out of an air still filled with fancy.
I can’t remember who won the prize,
and I can’t remember what the prize was.

But I guess as selfish minds are wont to do,
I remember the act of guessing.  
It was a childhood of guessing,
and I wonder if any of those guesses were truly wrong?  
When the engine of innocence toils away,
any solution, however fanciful,
can’t be false in a world that finds falsity
in far more veritable places.

I digress back to that jelly bean jar,
packed full of sugar,
and to a young mind,
full of promise.  
To a mind such as mine,
a mind akin to my classmates
who shared my sugary desire for that jar,
any guess was as good as the other,
as long as any guess was your own.  

We clutched ordinary pencils
scribbled on ordinary paper
with our own extraordinary numbers.  
In the basket went these figures most accurate.  

Days during the week passed
with those store brand jelly beans
mashed against each other,
childhood memories turned ordinary pages
wrote with ordinary pencils
until that singular, self-sure number
mashed against pages turned against it.  

However strong that memory of numerology
in a room full of words is etched in my mind; no trace
of the end of the jellybean contest remains in my ledger.
No trace of the disappointment of losing out
on such a treasure trove of tooth decay.  

But I guess this is the way of the mind,
it tends to trace out the positives
while it remains filled with youthful levity,
no weight is imbued in innocent minds,
and so tragedy, loss, and disappointment
float away past untroubled eyes.  

But time rolls on and much like the crushed growth
under an ever-rolling stone,
our lives start to fall harder on softened memories.  
Our lives harden with our heads,
and those days of living out short-lived fantasies
fade with jelly bean guesses.  
So as we mature and feign to seek the truth,
a small part of me keeps a singular page earmarked
for a time when the truth no longer weighs
                                                                              down the air with half-true deceit, and a mind long
abandoned
will return to grasp fanciful ideas
out of an air that’s still light enough
to evade our youthful fingertips.
Paul R Mott
Written by
Paul R Mott  Raleigh, NC
(Raleigh, NC)   
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