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The Final Circle

by Katie Nelson

Your life cycled in circles: from knowledge

to success and ‘round to failure

from forgetting to remembering

and back to knowledge.

You laughed, you cried. You teased sweet

jokes, you screamed thorny jibes.

Between work and talent you stayed occupied

or freed yourself to friendly outings—though sparse were moments to spare.

Now the final circle loops above you, the cycle

closing in, concluding.

You must scan the pages of your life and recline

as the book falls from your lap. Like royalty

look straight ahead, chin high, and the rain will drift

away. Hear the whisperings of the world.

They will call you determined, disheveled,

disheartened, brilliant and dumbfounded.

They will call you what victims

call their villains, what lovers call their loves.

But it was simple, the spinning of your circle:

from knowledge to success

and ‘round to failure. You gained,

you lost. You learned, you forgot.

Like lowly souls be satisfied, what more

could you have done?

You remembered the contents of those pages.

You laid that book to rest.


Katie Nelson is the author of the short story collection, "Parties All Around." Her works have been recognized by Pigeon Review and numerous writing contests. Katie is currently a high school senior with intentions of studying creative writing in college.


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