I am Mortal.

Gone are the days of obliviousness

Towering pillars of safety

No longer looming over my existence

Here is that feeling of powerlessness,

Of the inability to stop a way of life.

But I learned.

I am mortal.

I remember that moment,

Clear as day,

When the sky turned from blue to a blackish silver,

When innocence became guiltiness.

When a small voice formed in my head,

Questioning me.

About prior actions,

About my inability to change the past.

About things I couldn’t control.

Its speech hitting like a blow from a sword,

Murdering my courage.

The bed sheet permanently stained

The color of tears.

Leaving a foul taste

In my mind.

It announced,

I am mortal.

It was a moment of awareness,

One could argue its benefit,

But all I can admit is

It taught me one thing.

I am mortal

I remember my grandfather,

As different to me as he is,

Comforting me,

My head in his hands,

“Will I end up on the streets like you were?”

I ask him through muffled tears.

“No, child.”

But it is a reluctant response.

He knows the horror of life,

He sees the squalor,

The need to start the fire,

Or die as a spark,

That could have been a flame.

He understands

I am mortal.

I stand here today,

At a crossroad.

It is the gate to triumph,

Or the last wall before obscurity.

I am not the first to arrive here,

Certainly not the last,

But the choice is mine.

Not anyone else’s.

For I am mortal.