At twenty he turned up in a borrowed suit
for a career in the metropolis, awed~
by imperial gold lions guarding
the bridge he crossed to enter the city.

He had come from a humble place
to this palace of marble; everyone
said he had arrived. But, soon, the vine
between those worlds began to fray;

the gold symbols of the beau monde palled.
He did not know exactly when the vine
gave way, or if he’d cut it in a dream.
There was no way back to the house

at the top of the lane and he would remain
an exile, separated from the boy who
ran through wooded fields to school,
gold lions snapping at his heels.

Michael G. Casey