Then & Now
Rebecca Katz, MSIII


I enter this world with my eyes closed.
Particles of location and space
of the past nine months
enshroud my body.
I hear voices.
Some new, some familiar
They resonate in my ears like the beating of drums.
I cry.
Listen to me,
Hear me,
Hear me cry as I did at the very beginning of my existence.
There lives a rhythm within, and it beats to sustain me.
As time passes
I grow accustomed to this begging world,
as I too,
beg it to provide.
Moving on my hands and knees, I explore every inch of this earth
using all the senses I have been blessed with.
I do not understand what surrounds me.
I cannot understand all of it yet.
But I will.
I may be just a ripple now,
But I intend to make waves.

My eyes are wide open.
Does the mirror lie?
Why do I look so different
Legs that swallow my torso and when I sit,
and still I seem pretty small.
My voice has changed over time.
Some hear it
and others don't.
I do listen, I hear you,
Just let me live!
My feet have been stomping in boots of confidence and courage,
Day by day.
These boots are covered in mud, and when it rains,
It usually pours.
Thankfully, though,
it ends up washing away the unnecessary.
It's the puddles I have to avoid.
When I look hard enough, even with the eyes on the back of my head,
I can find them every now and then,
the rainbows.
I want to understand all that is humanly possible.
If I read, study, and listen
I will understand.
I hope.
These years have taught me to walk and to sometimes run,
and when I do I shake the Earth.
Just to be sure everyone knows I am coming.

Through my thick glasses, I don't see you very well.
But you should take a look at my bones.
You can count the rings
of all my years
within them.
They are rings of strength,
and sometimes uncertainty.
And even though they may now be frail,
They Still Exist.
What did you say? I wasn't able to hear you.
Speak louder
I am Still Alive!
My heart may not beat with the same strength,
And I may not be able to carry the weight of my experiences as well as I once did.
But I still try,
as I shuffle through the days.
Clenching to my walker.
I am grateful for being given this vessel
in which I have been able to travel through time.
I don't know how much longer I have,
but when I look down,
from the top of my mountain,
built from all my moments,
The time no longer matters.