I have been dreading this:
Staring me in the face for months,
A ticking clock
Tap-tap-tapping like a
Finger scolding,
Reminding me of all I haven’t done:

Dreams still sleeping,
Goals unachieved,
Miles not traveled,
Words not written,
Unchecked lists too long for any bucket.

Under the scrutiny of judging eyes,
Any life can look as small and inconsequential
As I felt,
A face in the mirror reduced to
New lines, tired eyes, hairs to pluck.

And yet
The closer it comes
I can feel the tide turning
I don’t know why.
It’s a train whistle blowing in the distance.
Before I can catch sight of any train
I feel the thrum of it pulsing forward,
An excitement
Inside me
And I know
I can hop aboard
And cover all those miles.
I can look in the mirror
And see the spark of adventure
In my eyes, and the curl
of my lips
As I laugh for the hell of it.

I can go where I want to go.
I’m on that train.

–Theresa Jarosz Alberti