The rostrum is enveloped in dust.

Walking on laminate, my legs are weak, echoing the footprints before me.

A foot catches on wires, serpentine on the glossy platform.

Trembling, I do not crack, I do not turn to stone.

My heart beats a staccato rhythm.

I grasp the justification of all my efforts contained in a single strip of ribbon.

The strobing lights from the wrinkled audience leave my eyes blind.

Their hands echo the applause before me.

I will soon be among them, now shedding the limbo of child and adult.

I will too, work to provide a roof over my head at the price of never appreciating the sky.

I will too, embrace the traditional and shun change, in fear of proving myself obsolete.

I will too, find pride in the form of a trembling babe with a body too small for its staccato heart.

And I will too, echo the same mistakes made before me.

And this paper will mean nothing.

And I will mean nothing.

Everything I will leave will mean nothing.

All is left but dust on an empty rostrum.


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