Monday, April 3, 2017

Coming Of Age

Coming of age
           is not something that happens
                          when we turn sixteen
                                        or eighteen
                                                       or twenty-one
It is not attained by puberty,
           or marked
                          by our first sexual experience
                                      or culminated
                                                      in our first encounter with love
It is not echoed
           in the blush of the bride
                          who knows that later
                                        she must bite her lip
                                                     to provide the blood
                                                                of her ill-begotten innocence
It does not glimmer
           in the vague, uncertain tears
                          of the boy soldier crouched
                                         beside his fallen enemy
It is not imparted
           in the dying breath
                          of a loved one glowing
                                          in a sweaty hospital bed
It is not an age
                but a moment
                               perhaps unnoticed
Which tells us
                that age is coming.

Alison Day, 2009