What Will You Leave Behind?

When the dust settles and the coffin hugs your flesh, what will you leave behind? What would be our final worth when the world is forced to see us, not through the lens of rose-colored glasses but from what we have cultivated in the earth? After the money becomes useless and the ink fades from the degrees we placed so much faith in, will our names linger on the edge of tongues? Will your children grow to benefit from your work? Will you be able to stretch your arms forth in the breath of yesterday and kiss them with creativity? I wonder if children are in my future and, if so, if they will live to cherish my books one day.

What would ultimately become of these words? Will they become heirlooms on the shelves of memory? Will my offspring reminisce on an existence that did not include them and somehow influenced their decisions? I am smitten with the reflections of these revelations, how my ancestors lived and how those lives affect us today—the nostalgic images of yesterday and the way they Underground Railroad themselves into the future. I am forced to consider what kind of tracks I will leave behind for others to follow. Will the sweat of labor coddle my children’s tears, or will it just become moisture for the worms of the earth when the dust has settled, and the maggots hug my flesh? I wonder.