Shell of a tear
Shadow of laughter
The somber silence
Of the reflection

The first time
When the child in the mirror
Isn't looking back at a child

That first pang of individuality
A moment etched in the cold ice of solitude
Knowing what it means to be alone
To be different

Never thought about it before
Different from the other kids
And this moment crystalizes
Into the first "I"
That really meant something

The embrace of "us" disappears
As the other kids fade away
I am left standing alone
For the first time

But not the last

Knowing that we can never laugh again
Without it having to mean something

A child's laughter is so pure
Like crystal chimes after rain
Because it has never known


Children frolic
Ignorant of that loneliness
Of that looming emptiness
That cold question

"Who am I?"