At the NHS Induction Ceremony
It’s sort of amazing to watch them
skate across the expanse
of this big black stage, just barely,
in rumpled suits and heels
and starter mustaches. They joke
with each other, wave awkwardly
to their parents, shake hands
and accept their certificate,
always on the verge
of missing a step and falling
into the shimmering shadow
of themselves projected up
from the dark. It’s like they don’t know
it’s there. It’s like they are only aware
of the bright shining light that they cast.
Which will be the first to go out?
Which will light a thousands suns?
I clap when prompted, but absently,
watching their parents and the smiles
that hide the fear of the questions,
applauding so forcefully their hands glow.