Edvard Munch - Anxiety (1894)

I was among the spectators watching the race,
too young to compete, with promise and upside,
cheering all the runners keeping up with the pace,
sneering at the weary falling by the wayside.

Stories were written, with glories of the legend,
who blazed through the tracks, stronger and faster,
showing the light, for the rest to comprehend
the pitfalls to avoid and techniques to master.

I couldn’t wait to join soon as I came of age,
youthful and vigorous, rearing to contend,
dreaming those dreams, of taking the stage,
following the path of that hero to the end.

Friends to be picked, foes to be downed,
schemes to be made, plans to be laid,
nary a second thought threatening to confound,
the primal appeal of a race quite unswayed.

I jumped into the race, blind and bold,
the race seemed fun, the race seemed a blast,
difficulties unseen in spite of the stories told,
from the eternal myths of the victories past.

The race is tough, the race is not fair,
for the rules are written, and the rules are broken,
with confused runners lost in despair
and lofty aspirers, ruthless and driven.

I lavished my youth in the trials of the pursuit,
leaping over the hurdles with the eye on the prize,
bruised and battered by the obstacles enroute,
visions of fancied grandeur, a figment in my eyes.

Old and tired, and barely in the race,
I questioned the purpose, muddled and befuddled,
running in a maze, in a pointless chase,
a life of unworthy rigor reducing me to a puddle

Gasping by the wayside in this perpetual race,
I’ve now foregone the chase of its transient end line,
fables of delusion fading in a twilight daze,
with once laureling legends cleansed off my mind.