Poetry

Neverland: A Poem About Growing Up

Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be all grown up and sort of be in charge. Now that I’m a bit older, I’ve realized that “being in charge” of anything is much, much more difficult than I’d previously anticipated. I wrote this as a sort of love letter to growing up and the life lessons you pick up along the way.

what did it mean to be little?

melting into picture books,

picking bouquets of wildflowers

or sneaking pieces of birthday cake under tables?

 

yet as time dances along some predetermined path,

to the tune of ringing alarm clocks and eagerly ticking watches,

maybe we seemed less like dwarfs and more like giants

always hoping for some simpler time with its simpler problems

trading in the intimidating present for a harmless past

 

but what’s growing up without a little risk?

pink-faced photographs and silly dancing is a happy middle ground

if being old or being little seems like too much.

 

perhaps this is the era of happy mistakes and first love

the era of too-long legs and smiling until it hurts.

 

still, i think getting older is tricky stuff —

you’re old, but not ancient;

young, but not new,

still a tall, awkward sprout with lots more growing to do.

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