past the electric towers

by Henry H., 16

Staring off the edge, I see the world.
Towers of stone, a vast bay, and the trail I’ve conquered.
But today, the mud on my shoes,
the flies buzzing in a parade around my head,
tell me I’ve been here before.

Until I cross that moldy rock,
the one that leads to the electric tower,
The one I dreamed of years ago,
trampled over on my path to victory,
I’ll claw my way there, 
panting, sweaty, tired.

On the peak, seven towers away, lies a remnant of me.
My former glory, miles ahead of me now.
I breathe my last sigh of the fight.
Standing on the foot of that long hill, I wave a white flag,
retreat back to the shell from which I came.

I’ve stood under that neverending hill ever since.
Trapped on the floor, buried under books and equations.
I’ve been pushed to and reached many peaks during my life,
scaling different mountains, but falling on others,
destroying my far-fetched dreams of global conquest.

But this time, when I raise that white flag,
I walk down the mountain, still hopeful.
I’m never going to reach the top as the same little boy,
but maybe next time, I’ll reach the second tower,
and soon after, stand triumphant over that mountain,
touching the clear blue sky once more.

Los Altos, California