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Oct 2013
I have a gift for them.
I should wrap it first.
Blue and gold ribbon
wound tightly to keep contents from overflowing.

I have been preparing their gift
since my birth, gathering the pieces
year after year
trying to connect carefree summer days of youth
with the concern and worry of adults.

Many teachers are on this planet to impart some knowledge to the future generations.
Roy G BIV, Please excuse my dear aunt Sally,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in .... Yeah, whatever.
Knowledge like this can help children attain their dreams, they say.

I want to give them something else
Inject splices of film from my life into their vision.
Let them see first hand
the memories
Let them see first hand
the mistakes, the recurring nightmares of shame and regret

Take this gift
I see them suffering from their lack of insight,
like death by dehydration
at the river’s edge
I try to make them drink.
Drink up, Drink up this gift.
But their tongues swell with the cotton mouth of youth.
Only mumblings of in-text citation and Shakespeare reach their ears.

They write love poems, sicky sweet lines about prom and how his eyes twinkled like the stars.
“We will be together forever.”
They write adorable break up poems.
I want to tell them to run.
Run because that part only gets worse.
When he pawns your heart for a new leather jacket you were going to sell  to buy your childhood back,
They tell stories about bullies
on the playground.
Broken hearts and skined knees.

Please take this gift., Drink up.
I know how this goes.
None of it makes sense.
We spend 12 years trying to be cookie cutters of each other,
the rest of our lives we want to be snowflakes in January gust,
individuals dancing free in the wind

If they would just take my gift,
tip open the lid
peek inside.

This is not the end,
these four walls for four years.

I want to give this gift to you.
You need to know what I did not.
Pour your heart and soul into this.
Your life starts here.
Grab every opportunity that comes your way
Grab it like a life raft.
Love everyone,
that dorky guy in the corner, The mouth breather,
Love him the most.

I take it back,
Make your own mistakes. You are a clean slate.
Your life is that favorite coloring book,
create your masterpiece.
Go outside the lines.
Like the magic 8 ball, my answers are unclear, you fill in the details.

The bully doesn’t go away after high school,
It morphs into the bill collector, the tax assessor,
Your mother in law.
You will still be faced with deadlines, due dates.
You will still worry about how you look.
Trade your Proactive for Oil of Olay.
Your hair gel for Rogaine

The mirror reflects a new face back to you.
But you will still be you.

It is not the end, these four walls
for four years.
just the beginning.
Written by
K Cash-Staley
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