Poetry marathon prompt #3


I don’t want to be the grownup ~

In the beginning was the child.

She had to be a grownup even then.

Count the other children. Make certain

none were left behind, like the luggage.

She grew. She aged. Always the grownup.

The older sister. The mother figure. The mentor.

But I don’t want to be the grownup. I don’t know how ~

Now is the time of eldering. Grownup

on steroids. Where’s the damn wisdom

that someone said comes with experience?

Age confers only silver hair, reluctant movement.

People ask for help, for answers, for comfort and

guidance and succor and what the hell do I know??

I don’t want to be the grownup. I don’t know how ~

There are no books for this. No one to ask, no one

be my own good counsel. I listen. I listen. I love.

I listen and love yet again. It’s all I have, all I know –

that love, my mother told me, is the answer.

Even when it’s the question. Even when the silver

and the bones protest that I should know more.

I am the grownup. I am learning how

Published by: Britton Gildersleeve

Writer Britton Gildersleeve grew up in Southeast Asia, moved to the Middle East when she married, and returned to Oklahoma to raise her two sons. Now that they're grown, she and her beloved live in Virginia, where she can be closer to sons, daughter-in-law, & grandsons. Sometimes she hears voices, so she writes ~ And she drinks a lot of tea.

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