Traditions and routines emerge as
Santa needs his cookies.
Then, sunny days of friendship spark
during kickball and candy necklaces.
But wands are for a fairy
And baby teeth begin to leave.
Each life a brim of expectations
Still only youth knows what is true.
One’s nerves, one’s tears take shape at twelve
Via braces, bangs, and clothes.
Movie dates with popcorn fights
and pizza… always pizza.
Competition then sets in
As we learn we are on our own
And friends and family stand helplessly by
Because we’d rather be bitter. We’d rather be alone.
Then music helps
The yelling sobs become a rhythm
And laughter is the best result, the best defense.
We find ourselves are not ourselves
But each a shadow with a broken heart.
And for the lucky we emerge.
Through ashes, we dust off the pain.
We right our wrongs, accept our faults
We find our friends have somehow, some…how remained.
But survival’s not a victory
It’s a pledge, a hope towards change;
A way to look past so many tragedies
No matter what the TV plays.