Alone in a cell, awaiting his lengthy prison sentence,

The broken man reflects on his life. “How did he get here?” he wonders,

What brought him to this point? He delves even further. “What is my life truly worth?” he ponders.


Boyhood memories of watching the river traffic along the Mighty Mississippi,

Daydreaming of ships and adventures on the seas.

Teenage aspirations of becoming an air traffic controller,

Of sports cars, of having a loving wife with four children—

Two sons and two daughters.


Was it real? Or was it just an illusion?


The boy grew into a man, graduated high school,

Joined the Navy and became an air traffic controller.

The young man sailed the seas and traveled the world

On an aircraft carrier three times over.


Was it real? Or was it just an illusion?


As life went on, the man built his own little world,

Amassing material possessions and purchasing houses.

When his first marriage failed, he went and found someone else to play the part.

He spared no detail to make his life perfect.


Was it real? Or was it just an illusion?


Life continued, and the man became disheartened and bitter.

He began to feel no self-worth, he felt shallow and alone.

He could not allow his picture perfect life to become tarnished.

He put on a mask and gave his best performance.


But it was not real, it was just an illusion.


His career, all of his material possessions and homes are gone.

The farce of his second marriage is over,

And none of his children care to see him.

The man’s picture perfect life was never real, it was just an illusion.