Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This is Forty-Four

I'm attempting to write everyday in March.Today is post 21 of 31.

Last year I pulled together a mentor text set of poems and songs about age. Then I wrote my own. Sharing this with my students, they crafted their own poem as well. You can read more about that here. This year I'm doing a version of that study again and decided to write another poem, this time at forty-four. Here it is.

This is Forty-four
I feel the pull,
The tug.
Years pass, time marches on
And here I stand.

I’m no longer that self-conscious teen,
Wanting so badly to fit in,
That she refused to speak her mind.
To speak up.

I no longer worry what others think of me
Or, at least, not as much as I did.
I feel more comfortable with who I am,
I see my value.

I look back and my heart aches for that girl.
I wish so much I could tell her to find her strength within.
But I can’t.

And so, I tell my students.
I tell them they are the only ones with the power to make themselves.
I tell them that they are amazing.
That they still have the power to set themselves on the path of their own choosing.
And I watch.

They have so much potential in front of them,
Will they see it?

From my spot, forty-four years down the line,
I know how quickly life moves.
Twenty-one years of marriage
Fifteen years of motherhood so far,
I am blessed.

I find joy in watching my boys run,
My heart fills up as they accomplish their dreams,
But it breaks when those dreams are crushed.
To love, to try, is to put yourself out there.
They can get hurt
They have gotten hurt
And it brought me to my knees.

Forty-four years means I’ve lost,
A lot.
I’ve watched my grandparents fade away.
I’ve lost relatives, friends, far too young.
And I’m just as crushed now,
As I was years ago,
When I get that message that begins…
“The doctor says…”

My heart seizes up,
My brain screams “NO!”
But this is part of growing older,
A privilege not afforded to everyone.

Forty-four years,
Hope to have forty-four more.
Here I stand.
Chasing the years,
There is still time to live.