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Poem: Carolina

Has it really been seven years since you first pulled me from those fields, away from all I knew, away from sweet simplicity, the simplicity I can’t reclaim? Is it simplicity I seek, that small-town life: prosperity? Tough to do with a dangling dream that taunts and haunts and teases yet frees. If simplicity means liberation then maybe it’s simplicity I seek. Or is it complexity that frees, this bursting dream: the key? Yes, I think it’s freedom that compels me. Has it really been seven years, since I first ran through your tunneled streets, honeysuckle and pine-scent hanging in the summer air? I was running then, and I’m running now, but I still don’t know what I’m running from. Tough to know with love, the only love I’ve ever known, pulling me in, close to your heart, making me feel at home, only to launch me like a rock from a sling. I guess you were just like Indiana, and I’m always launching and leaving. Has it really been seven years since you began to build to break, a “seeing” through unseeing, a “knowing” through unknowing, each struggle a gateway into worlds unfathomable? It was you who called and now you who sends. Easier to transform when safe, the only place I've ever belonged, accepting me as I am, "not as I should be." Bounded by a toxic grace, you were the watershed, not because of where you are but because of who you gave to this "wild bird," this "beloved" soul trapped in skin. Has it really been seven years? Aren't we all just trapped in skin?

By Stephen Copeland

This poem was first published on

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