Poetry: “I Remember What I Wanted to Be”

by: Nick Keenan

I wanted to be the boy who played in leaves

Exploring wild jungles.

Deadly forests.

The front garden.

The boy who never left mom’s side, the protector, the fixer with hugs and kisses. How fun it was to know everything.

And nothing at all.

I wanted to be older and stronger,

have all the friends,

get all the girls,

who liked me because I was funny.

Come in first.

Win something.

To be the boy who made mom proud

to be the boy who learned everything about everything       about everything.

To be someone’s best friend,

To be someone’s lover,

a lasting scent.

I wanted to be

the writer,

the artist,

the scientist,

the musician,

the romantic

and later on

have a hand in the apocalypse

and more.

Now all I can remember

is that we are all breaking down

in an organized frenzy—silent

catastrophes—trying to




Who we wanted to be.

Nick Keenan is a second year student at DePaul University studying Biology with an emphasis in neuroscience. He is a poet, runner, activist, and audiophile, and in his spare time, he enjoys reading Dave Eggers, Richard Dawkins and Jonathan Safran Foer and the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Andrea Gibson and Pablo Neruda.  Like Adrienne Rich, Keenan believes that “it’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting and painful.”

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