In this circle of men
the code demands one rule—
Find my value in my words.

Each session a blank check
you discover that everyone has
an attic filled with hope,
loss, and dreams.

How do you hold the experience
of terse words
shaped by
poverty and despair?

Slowly you will discover the unexpected bridges
connecting your life to theirs—the falls,
the disappointing parents,
the harsh walls of privilege.

Face to face,
honesty
the only currency this bank offers.

Press deeper.
Mind only the present—
the books discussed,
the ideas on the page

© Ann Bracken

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