By Catherine McBride
Life changes in a moment;
In a heartbeat the color fades.
Sunbeams chase the shadows and are gone with the laughter.
Grief, in the darkness, in the cold, in the view when the sun is gone.
Life beyond the vibrant globe of endless summers.
Time slides away, the years flip by, pages on a calendar are torn and gone.
The air, like ice, slaps the breath from your lungs.
In the freedom your heart soars, in the dark, in the wind and the fire.
Run forever, search forever, build forever.
Room for every dreamer to give life to their golden visions.
But the Cold and the Dark, cruel lords of this realm, watch smiling from their throne.
Their hands heavy, their lies play with the wind in your ears.
Your dreams mean nothing.
The gold is faded, a lie, an illusion.
Gray is the color of life, cold is the taste of freedom; there is no gold, no warmth.
Bent with age they have not earned, eyes on the rock beneath their feet, burdens clutched as dearly as life;
Men stumble on, dreams forgotten, laid tenderly aside, left to fade to the gray of the world around them.
But within the bubble of warmth and sun the young still play.
They watch life turn around them and they cannot understand it.
The gray, the cold, are as distant as the stars above them.
Small feet, small hands, big eyes and open hearts like burning coals.
Dreams glow in the small minds of pure innocence, untainted, vibrant in every shade.
Round faces pressed to the glass stare into the universe around them, and paint their dreams on the mountains and valleys of the world beyond.
But they cannot feel the cold, and the sunlight of their world hides the gray.
They will not see it when it comes for them,
When the first breath of winter touches their skin and the light fades.
Friends left behind watch them pull away, losing them to the void beyond.
The color is enough for them, still blinded by the beauty.
Those on the outside ache in bitter longing for the ignorance they lost, but cannot wish it back.
Sad smiles look in, amused, lost in grief and tender memory.
They have felt the cold, they have seen the gray.
The color is faded now, a lie, an illusion.
So they are told, and so they believe.
Day after day, lifetime on lifetime, the slaves of gray build their caves and turn their stony fields,
Content with survival, satisfied with their meager share.
There are few who slip, glowing, from the globe of youth and stare into the eyes of the demons, see the lies and the faces behind them.
There are few who smile as the wind rushes by, feel their hearts fill to bursting at the blank pages before them.
Fearing not the dull glances of broken men, unhindered by rock and cold, they spin their work as they’ve long held it in their hearts.
Color spills between their fingers, flows from their hands, staining the mountains.
Castles and kingdoms rise against the horizon.
And while these men work, standing aglow above those taken by lies and darkness, there is beauty.
Over the eastern hills, framing their artwork in the sky, the sun will rise,
Flooding the world with gold.
Catherine McBride is a 17-year-old aspiring author and writer of fiction and poetry. She has written two short stories, several poems, and currently has her first real novel in progress. She has an affinity for beautiful sad things, animals, dancing, ruins, motorcycles, and music and songs, to name a few. Catherine lives in rural Tennessee with her family, and she owes her writing to them and her three best friends, as well as the gorgeous view. You can follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/banshees.secret.