Are there pre-existing conditions to our lives? Do we come into a world that’s already holding us back? How do we escape the restrictions set for our individual personhoods?

There’s a lizard that climbs my tree,
He’ll pause and tilt his head,
Before he scurries up its trunk.
He used to look up to me.

It’s the same time every day,
A rustle in the bushes,
A few press-ups on the slab,
And he’s on his merry way.

There’s the grasshopper, too.
She bounces ‘round the garden,
Judging my ambition.
She’s never feared my shoe.

The grass she eats is dried and brown,
It creeps its way through cracks,
Jagged lines of decay,
Carved across the stony ground.

And the lizard trees drop bitter fruit
To rot upon the stone,
Seeds trapped inside the shell,
Never to take root.

I can relate as I share the shade,
Of the mother’s outstretched,
Overbearing arms—
Against the sun they’re splayed.

And the tired rake rests beside,
Uncertain of its purpose.
Its old master often held it,
And nights were spent inside.

Now it lazes in the summer sun
And gazes at the disarray.
The season’s nearly over
And so much work’s been left undone.

Tim Royan is a writer and journalist from Los Angeles who is currently being cooked alive in Phoenix. His writing has appeared in Esthesis Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Tuscon Weekly and Arizona PBS. When he’s not trying to arrange words in a pleasing sequence, Tim is usually playing, writing, listening to or ranting about music. He is known to go on tangents.

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