Grow Softly

to the class of 2017

Growing up feels like
the moment before
pulsing liquid fire
meets the gushing wet
of the growling sea
with the same drawn-out
wail as a banshee.

It makes a scattered sort of
sense that youth burns
as brightly as newborn lava
–is felt with the same burn
as moments-old magma.
But true clarity emerges
with all the brutal honesty

of extreme temperatures
melding to create something
new: as we grow we harden.
In resolve, in mind, and (most of all)
in whether we choose to remain kind.

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