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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 becoming 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…

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