I recall, eons ago, when I was neither adult nor child,
during a phase of life known as adolescence
or numerically, being a teenager.
I also recall later being
a male adult parent to three, at one point—
all three almost simultaneously fitting
the technical teenager definition.
We all age up, but teeny boppers, as was once
a more affectionate term, stay the same.
Someone is always oddly 13, 15, 17, or some
age of that hormonally unbalanced
and the musically misguided post-pubescence.
I recall that back then, I was often bored unless
in the midst of violent volcanic eruptions,
and even then, given time, I found them dreary.
Almost everything of interest
involved getting into trouble, things which
I confess to doing with reckless abandon.
Now I look around and see grandchildren,
mostly in some phase of teenage-ism,
some exhibiting familiar behavior, some not.
I see parents, once teens themselves, distraught
over viewing in their progeny reflections of
their former life, a past they seldom
confess or want to remember.
I have no solutions and few suggestions for
those raising difficult teen personalities, like me,
like them, maybe like my parents in the
years of the Great Depression or
WWI or II. But I smile slightly
and I sympathize greatly.
Two things in life are not for sissies:
raising teenagers and getting old. That,
having done both, I can swear to. But,
in the long run, they are worth it.
May we all live long, prosper,
and remember. “Tomorrow, and
Tomorrow, and So Forth.”
Look both ways as life transitions. Be mindful of the gaps in denial.
Note: This is my second (Sunday’s) installment for Sammi’s weekend writing prompt: 44 words with twilight as the one-word prompt.
The Sunday Marathon
Gathered in a crisp morning twilight to sip hot coffee, to gaze upon others ready to contest human limits against nature by running like crazed Greeks: a marathon; some hoping to win, most to finish; others, in their terminal twilight, proving they still can.
Look at twilight both ways, one nearing a dawning, the other after dusk,
but before a darkness crosses the veil between life and death.
Mind the gaps, but don’t lose sight of the end-goal.
I prefer to write Sammi’s weekend prompt on Sunday. When I looked at it on Friday, I wrote a poem. It just happened: oops, a poem. I decided this weekend’s prompt could be for each day of the weekend, including Friday. My three on replace:
Going Home Again (Friday)
I’ve tried to go back home,
to the place where
I was born.
It was the right place,
but I was not the him who
I was when I left.
I was unable to replace me,
and you weren’t who
you once were.
No longer was I one of you,
not of the same tribe,
only a memory.
Once you leave, it’s done.
You can never go home again,
we can’t go back in time.
What was is finished,
only the whisper of memory
holds us in the past.
Irreplaceable Love (Saturday)
If you lose someone you love
you can’t replace them
nor the love you felt.
Each love is unique. It may
change or flat-out die,
but most love remains in us.
We can’t feel so much love
that we wear it out,
like an old pair of shoes.
The love we feel is at least
for as long as one shall live,
I hope all my love lasts forever.
Be it a pet or a person, family
or friend, music or memory,
no love can replace a true love.
Relief Strategy (Sunday)
Planning battles, reserves
part of the relief strategy for
casualties and the weary.
In basketball they are the bench,
In football, second string,
baseball has relief pitchers from
the bull pen that replace starters.
My Dad referred to men
as being on relief. Years later,
I learned he meant welfare,
not to replace.
Then there is that personal relief we crave
during difficult or painful times, like in
the Jerry Clower story about coon huntin’—
I been coon huntin’ and lemme tell ya,
it’s just that funny.
Look both ways in them Mississippi swamps.
Mind the gaps for Lynx.
Jerry Clower’s most famous story was his coon huntin’ story about the time he and his friends went hunting that evolved into an entanglement… if Jerry don’t make you laugh, you need relief. If you got the time, he’s irreplaceable.