Tassel on the rear view, plastic robe
With mortar board tossed in back, 
Hammer down on seventy five. World
Here I come. Student job pays tuition, 
Earn board  bussing tables, take orders. 

No more cows, babies or empty stokers.
Library with books floor to ceiling waiting
For the greenest scholar to explore, learn. 
Roommate looks askance. I get it. Mountain
Born and bred a doubtful fit for her. 

Green eyes, lanky build and jaunty walk
Took up a scholarship way up north. 
Lots of room to seek, find new journeys. 
The heart set aside, ignored not broken.
Brain pulls the plow, moonlight an illusion. 

Four years, taught to look for answers,
Question everything, broaden horizons.
A new tassel looms, not hung careless as
Uncertainty lurks beyond the black robes.
University wore ignorance down, issued exile.   

Rocky road beckons offering scant support,
Job, career, mission, home, partner, all,
All must be unraveled, parceled out, lived.
No feather mattress to buffer, no Pat, Foggy,
Sally or mountain home, only new minted me.  

K. Bruce Florence