Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Adulthood (poem)


When I was young, it was easy to grow up;
There was a day, I knew not when,
When it was, simply, true.
No ceremony or rite,
no journey into the wilderness;
Maybe a nod of the head
signaled the journey’s end.

And so, now, I see that adulthood
must be realizing youth’s foolishness.
But this cannot be enough, for,
God, I’m still a fool.
I know more than I did then,
but I’m no better at keeping true.
Could maturity be the piquancy of guilt?

I used to think I could do it on my own,
but the older I become, and I feel it,
the more I need companions, hell,
the more I need my parents;
but that ship has sailed, I fear,
years and years and years of neglect
and strain and secret resentment:
how can I come home now?

Could this be why I’ve resisted this so long?
Three kids in and I still want to be
that geeky college kid, universally adored
in his own mind.
But fear, more often than not, is irrational:
who is there to catch me if I fail?
No one. And everyone.
Adulthood is the realization of love
and the loving of all;
forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation –
these, these!, are our prime meals.

Children cannot handle bitterness
and so gravitate to the sweet;
it is the special province of the aged
that these bitters are desired.