In a serpentine solemn line we walked down a sidewalk on a hill to recieve diplomas on an afternoon when the sun was incubating dandelion floaters and warming the sides of Sun Tea pitchers on side porches, I was called forward from my seat alphabetically to cross a stage where a man I’d never met handed me a plastic case with my certificate in it.  Later over pizza people I cared about wished me well, a man of the hour.

I have wandered far from that stage and would not care to go back on this migrant solitude.  I have seen cars in flames, hearts in cinders, tables sat at and tables empty, a circle of companions assembled, and then broken.  That day on the stage I was a rich young man, who could now tell you of flittings-about, night sadness, let-downs, women’s cried out eyes.

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