@carolee, I so resonate with the “warrior” title. There is an innocence to this warrior stance. I loved, “there’s an exterior toughness masking some self-doubt and wonder.”
This couldn’t be exile, could it?
There’s desert enough here
for those who wait.
All through the dry season,
my flower stalk’s bony shadow
creeps over the smooth white drifts.
This paragraph to me is what happens if the boy in the pic is never able to realize his dreams, or be himself, and the halting way in which one might discover failure. But the failure is ultimately externally defined. And the last sentence is hopeful, if not quite redemptive. In the last line the man-child yucca does realize the the impact he has made is not externally defined or made real by others. And though the journey didn’t turn out as he expected, his life has indeed made a difference.