I've been trying to write this since J.D. Salinger died back in January, but I couldn't get it to work until recently. Fun fact: the flag in front of my school was at half mast the day after his death, and I have no idea if it was on purpose or just because of laziness.

Mr. Salinger did not speak for us,
this new generation of appreciation
too meek to start a fire under anyone's feet,
too cautious to take the uncharted paths,
too quiet to do anything but live vicariously.

He spoke for those without fear,
those without the will to let the flames in their eyes burn out,
keeping no record of who undoubtedly wants them to.

He spoke to those who let themselves run away,
those who welcome the foolish notions of invulnerability with open arms
as they sink their teeth into whatever lies behind door number one.

He spoke for those who won't stop shouting,
those who won't calm down long enough to sift through the dreams of an idea,
and won't allow themselves to identify with a fragment of an imagination.

No, Mr. Salinger did not speak for us,
but today, we speak for him in place of his target audience
while their flag stands at half mast by pure coincidence,
wind catching it just enough to suspend it,
sunlight coating it just enough to make the clouds seem as insignificant
as the mourners who never really needed him.