The boy would walk

by D. Joyce-Ahearne

 

The boy would walk with the sun on his face and his shadow behind him
so that light and heat were his only concerns.
The sun would rise and he would rise to meet it.
He would cross land and sky and go anywhere if the sun went there first, heated invincible. 

When it would begin to set, for a while he would walk with a falling sun.
But his courage would always fail with the failing light
and he would turn his back on what was to him a dying star. 

He would find his shadow waiting for him
and the sun’s heat on his back as he walked home.
Because he was afraid to walk home in the dark he never saw the sun set.
He would close the door on the last breath of day that always saw him home even after he had turned his back on it. 

Then one day he decided that if the sun could walk him home he could do the same.
And so he did, down to the end of the night
where he saw that black is only the end of purples and reds
and darkness is only the ashes of light, and should be treated as such. 

As he watched how the last flame of day licked the night
he walked the sun into black and found himself alone in the dark but not
afraid.
He turned his back on the night and walked home.
He had seen the glory of the setting sun fade into darkness
and he knew he could do the same.