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Keep your face to the sunshine
and shadows will fall behind you. -- Walt Whitman

Laceless by Jim Hatfield

They were my own boys’ ages

and just as hapless, asking for a toothbrush and permission to phone

home. Both requests declined for they had asked too late.


Like my sons, they wore blue jeans, though not so well-fitting without belts.


With their concertina legs and lace-less shoes they looked like refugees I had seen on the television screen; at once younger than their years and yet aged too soon; denied, first, childhood and now their youth.


I used to glibly say that we are all in a prison of one sort or another; a marriage failed a job we cannot stand, opportunities not grasped when we held them in our hand.


The sort of thing which, once upon a time we might have simply come to terms with after a while or half- dismissed as just the blues.


I doubt I shall again confuse discontent with concertina legs and lace-less shoes.

The Linnets Wings