Wednesday, 1 June 2016

i couldn't help myself. here is my version of on turning ten by billy collins

on turning twenty three

the whole idea of it makes me think
likes it’s just another day, it’s just another number
something like a Monday, any regular day
or a Tuesday in the college attending classes
a Friday night in comfy pajamas
an anxiety-filled Wednesday afternoon
a Sunday evening that gets over too soon

you tell me it is time to be looking forward,
but how do I forget
the infatuations that came at sixteen
and the complex intersectionality introduced by twenty two.
I can crawl back and remember every year
at twelve I was an artist
I could make faces with only a pencil
by concentrating for four hours at a stretch.
at seventeen I was a poet, at twenty one a feminist.

and now I am mostly at the laptop
watching videos and then an article and a reading.
back then it never felt so much
the people who walked by my house
and the illusions of doing good
as it does today,
all the pretentious charity drained out of it.

this is the complexity of living, I say to myself
as I walk, jump, crawl through the universe
it is time to grow old with friends
time to turn another digit to write on all official forms.

it seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light
if you cut everyone, only I would shine.
but now as I see others tumble upon the sidewalks of life
I can see- we all skin our knees. We bleed. And we shine.