Joseph, Age 14, Cypress, CA

He studies hard in a darkening room,
The window letting in sunset beams.
He stops and thinks, “What a crazy loon!
Failure is certain," or so it seems.

He’s grown so much since his first big test;
That ‘F’ for “Failure” echoing like a gong.
But through it he learned to try his best,
And learn from what he found was wrong.

Throughout the years, he found delight,
A scholarship waiting at the door.
But then ole’ “failure” took its bite.
A test; flunk or success must soar.

And so he studies in a room,
The sunlight through the window dim.
And this, the time he spends will soon,
Determine the future life for him.

He drives nervously to where he abides.
Sure that his future holds his doom.
The next day, at school he strides,
Into the “Examination Room.

The test begins and he tries to write,
But fear grips him by the heart,
Why should I try? I’ll get none right.
He swallows hard and his throat tastes tart.

He shakily picks up his pen,
“Failure is certain” or so it seems,
But then he remembers his resolve again.
To pass the test is to fulfill his dreams.

He then sets off to answer them all.
100 questions to complete
His knowledge will never waver or fall.
His work is clean and answers neat.

He turns in his test sheet with a smile
He knew quite well that he did his best.
Passed or not it was all worthwhile.
Though failure, did not show up on that test.

He lived on with a happy career
He had a good life as he would later deem.
But he never forgot that test, how fear
Was beaten sorely to give him his dream.

And so my friend, what will you do?
Will fear and failure live long and mean?
No dear friend, I hope that you
Will live long in order to fulfill your dream.

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