November, 1995

Poetry

Ten

Ten Illustration

The subject is ten.
Think of a blast off, a glorious rocket counting down 10, 9, 8 . . .
but on the flip side. Starting from one.
Counting up
birthdays or anniversaries. Moments
of joyous elation. Or like the commandments,
insisting: thou shalt.

And what shall we think at ten?

Memories.  We’ve never literally known midnight oil.
But a computer crashing in the night is not an unheard
sound. Countless
nights spent
not in the arms of a passionate love but
coaxing
a laser printer, a computer network, or
an article from a mind thought-spent with weariness.
Or a design –
perfect symmetry from eyes too tired to see.

I remember the night, Ken and I traveled down
to the post office
at 2 AM. The car bursting with announcements to be mailed.
Each one carried a letter, a stamp and a dream.

There have been moments . . .
The first issue arrived in San Francisco, 1985, PMA
where PMA doesn’t go anymore.
Young men on the make,  The awards,
the first sale, the first million.  The first speech.

The good and the bad, the agony and the ecstasy.
Ken and I we made a solemn vow: Our lives, our fortunes and
Our sacred honor or, at least, a commitment to create something
where nothing was before.

Now ten.  Approaching gangly adolescence.  Formed
fully, yet not complete.  Not unlike a child though, it yearns to free
itself.  It grows too big to be possessed, even by those who dreamt it into
existence.  Now, so many
employees, readers, stakeholders the consultants say,
“A mind of its own.”
Potential that will not be denied.
So we surrender control unto incipient adulthood.

I remember Hunts Point.  A desk.  A pencil.
A piece of paper big enough to hold the largest
dream.  It was a start.
But now, so many dreams inhabit in every issue: It finds its
own subject, it commands us to march.

But where? At ten the search
begins.  To realize the potential.
To dream dreams never
dreamt
at the creation.

Ten Hebrew men are required
to say a prayer
before the Ark.

So, perhaps, with our ten years,
our prayer will be heard:

Humble appreciation:
The glory of every
word.

Hopeful exaltation:
Tomorrows worthy of our
opportunity.

by Jim Prevor