Definition comes early and easily.
The product of his home or community environment,
Keeping company with his peers,
Or the clothes he wears.
This or that is what makes him or made him what he has become…
Characterizations are the norm.
Or shrill fabrications from severed, acrimonious relationships,
Or the ebb and flow of ill-informed
Where words slip in and out of attention-deficit openings.
Sleek, multi-million dollar ads appear
In the media-frenzied air
To tickle an ear
Or raise a primal fear
Of not belonging.
No surprise there…
Are all in on the act of validation.
The confirmation of who you are
Is no longer your responsibility.
It rests with a society of diverse interests
Whose expectations coincide with mass-produced
Alice-in-Wonderland fluctuations in poll numbers, profits, and predictions.
What path to follow?
The one that’s predetermined, of course!
The one that guarantees success while turning you into a living corpse.
The one where hollow assurances
Have made your triple-checked prepared utterances
Creations of vaunted profundity deserving of applause,
While carefully camouflaging their futility.
Submit to your fears.
Join the world of your peers.
Make the easy choices and smile publicly for the camera,
Even as you suffer privately thereafter.
How to go back?
Where to begin?
You’ve become a slave of your own making.
Searching for answers,
Pondering the path not taken,
You remember, so long ago it seems,
That small, gentle voice within.