Some days, I go to the cliff,
looking out over the countryside,
staring at the green canopies of the trees below me, ruminating
—The tests failed, the people who hurt me, the friends lost,
The pain endured, the hard work, the sleepless nights
And for what? Was it all worth it?
On the day I die, will I regret it?
I tend not to think about Death
It will come to me when ready
But, I cannot help thinking
I did something good
If I do not leave the world different than how I entered
If I do not carve my own unique mark on the earth,
an engraving on one of millions of stones,
then, what is the point?
Everything has concomitant hardship
I live to make the reward outweigh it
But, what if it isn’t worth it,
If the sacrifice outweighs the prize
I think about the miles I have under me,
every piece of asphalt my foot has grazed,
the rubber, the grass, the rocks, the dirt, the snow.
And whenever I think about this,
I realize my sacrifices were fruitful
As I have done everything in my power,
Leaving no room for regret
since for those seventeen minutes, I live in the moment,
focusing solely on my feet striking the earth,
my hurried breathing, the people around me
– Anthony Calvelli, The Haverford School, Class of 2017