Growing Pains

when you’re ten you’re sure

by the time you’re twenty

life will be yours to explore


when you’re twenty you say

by the time you’re thirty

you won’t feel like a castaway


when you’re thirty you think

by the time you’re forty

you’ll find your missing link


when you’re forty you feel

by the time you’re fifty

your scars are bound to heal


when you’re fifty you know

by the time you’re sixty

you’ll still be you, although


when you’re sixty you hope

just to get to seventy

as though time itself were the dope


when you’re seventy you wonder

is that all there is?

knowing there’s no answer


but up to you –

thenceforth with tears

                 or laughter?

Published in Snakeskin 257, January 2019