The Leap


Giving up some things

is the key to gaining others.

That’s what we learned

in our tender years,

as childhood faded into the West,

like a late summer sunset,

that burned golden,

until the stars came out.

We knew it in our hearts.

A cold, dead fact

that we were going to have

to learn to grieve,

lest it overcome us.

This part of life would die.


We knew that it was one

of the unavoidable facts of life

since our senior year.

College, university, trade school,

each of them, a milestone

that led us further and further away

from those warm, summer nights.

Some of us refused.

We clung to that juvenile identity

and tried to fool time

into passing us by.

We kept the drugs,

the booze, the dreams,

but every year they faded

and frayed a little more

around the edges.


Everyone pays a price.

For some, it is time,

but others pay with their souls.

We knew that the next step

was a leap of faith

that we had to make


on the first try.

You couldn’t hang on

to the past,

and you couldn’t carry anything

with you.

You had to run,

and jump,

and pray you made it.


Some just didn’t go.

Others, hung on

to some small thread

of whom they had been,

only to have that line

snap taut mid-leap

and down they’d go.

The best of us

emptied their hearts,

and emptied their hands,

and ran with total abandon,

springing into the air

at the last second,

soaring over the gap,

and came in for a rough landing

on the other side.


There were no judgements,

no scoring,

or metric for measuring performance.

Adulthood is not graded,

or critiqued

by Monday morning quarterbacks.

Sure, we are all judged in the eyes of others,

but those judgements

are only our burden

if we pick them up.

“Success” becomes a strange slogan,

by which the sharks and charlatans

of the world

sell us their ideas.

Pimps and politicians

all want another body

in their stable.


Funny thing is,

most of us made it over

to the other side.

Some fell

and had to find another way up,

but we’re here none the less.

Here, on this side of the great divide,

the only thing that matters

is time,

because we don’t know

how many more

sunrises and sunsets

we’re going to get.


We just do our best

to make every moment good.

Hang on to what’s important

and let go of what’s not.

Another leap,

another great divide

is up ahead, somewhere.

We know it.

So, here’s to being ready for it

when it’s our time to jump.



HG – 2022

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