Poetry has never been my strong suit, but today I found a poem I wrote decades ago. I was old enough to have experienced deep loss and overwhelming fear, and yet, I had an inner strength and resilience. If nothing else, I’ve always been resilient. Since then I’ve discovered the answers to most of the questions I posed in my poem. Some of my assumptions were wrong, particularly the one about God, plus now I know dessert is always worth the calories, and when in doubt… overdress.
Wishing each one of you a happy and healthy New Year filled with love, forgiveness and optimism.
We won’t know until we get there if first grade will be hard or if the other kids will like us
If flu shots hurt or the tooth fairy really leaves a quarter under our pillow
If Brussel sprouts taste as bad as they smell will Mom make us clean our plate?
We won’t know until we get there if growing pains hurt and ugly ducklings grow into swans. Will I be one of them?
If our mothers were right and it stunts our growth or makes us go blind
If blondes and bad girls have more fun?
We won’t know until we get there if we’re overdressed or underdressed
If tiramisu is worth all the calories
If grey hair is coarser than brown and will we look like Gramma Sadie when we get older?
We won’t know until we get there if it feels better to unburden our soul and our psyche and let go of the past
If we can forgive and move forward, beginning again instead of looking back
If it hurts when we die and can we survive the loss of a child?
We won’t know until we get there if our minds will stay open and youthful when our bodies become bent and withered
If we’ll grow old with grace and dignity even if we’re alone and at the mercy of strangers
If God forgives us of our sins or does he drop us back in the ocean, not spiritually advanced for the kingdom of heaven?
We won’t know until we get there.