hunches menacingly right over there, occasionally giving out
a short sharp bark of what must pass for laughter in its tribe.
searching those pitiless features for some clue
to its intent, its content, its torment.
There it waits, mostly silent, daring me to walk right up and own it.
some stiffened with bureaucracy, some bright with painted promise,
others worn and wrinkled.
Photographs caught helpless in this maddened whirl fly past.
I catch the scent of sandalwood worn by my long-dead artist sister
and hear her voice defending all my dreams,
and wonder why these shades of life long past inhabit what awaits me.
so blank and hard it seems that no one's hand
could score it, scar it, trace a path across its gray unyielding surface.
I step abruptly back and know that there it is
- my future -
not yet written or designed.
knowing I will have history but also freedom
to imprint a brave new me-ness on the morrow.
The dread evaporates, and what was menacing is now inviting.
there for me to stroke whichever way,
with whatever color patterns I find pleasing.
Oh, it's not all a gift.
I'll have to grind my own pigment,
mix my own palette, choose my tools carefully.