I was 18 years old and sick and tired of everyone having these incredibly high expectations of me when I could barely keep shit together. I just wanted to stay young, irresponsible and unaccountable for my actions. Not surprisingly, I found myself still relating to it on a visceral level after nearly 40 years. Shocking.

From time to time I have unraveled
The dreams I’ve tucked under my youth
But somewhere inside of this memory
I’ve hoped to find reason, I’ve tried to find truth
Maybe I’ve tried far too hard to impress
Or maybe I’ve just got too much to confess
But somewhere inside me I’ve taken a vow
To something I should have outgrown by now

Everyone’s convinced that I have it in me
But I don’t understand what that means
They tell me that I’ve gotta learn how to cope
‘Cuz life’s not the party I thought it would be
But ‘cope’ is a word that I don’t comprehend
And if I’m not a savior then why can’t I pretend
And trying to put my past on the shelf
Is like trying to get me to act like myself

Yesterday’s heroes get older
And they die as fast as they can
Nobody wants you when they think you’re afraid
You’re just living proof of mistakes that they’ve made
Yesterday’s heroes get lonely
They always end up as somebody’s fool
Things can be different if I can be free
To someday discover a child in me

How can I run with a pen in my hand
While my conscience is wielding a sword
Why does the world have the key to the room
Where all of my secret lives have been stored
What if the sky isn’t really so far
What if my mind leaves a window ajar
What if a bird know just how I feel
But all the what-ifs in the world can’t cloud what’s real


Isn’t it sad to have hopes at a time
When hopeless is the anthem of the day
But now that the spirits are rising again
I think I know just what to say


©1987 Shael Risman