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.