Kids these days
It’s funny how the students who are considered “advanced”
Enough to go to a school separate from almost any other in the district
Are the students who have best learned how to read deep
Enough into the question to find the right answer
These kids are bright
They understand metaphor and simile, symbolism and irony
They know how to read between lines
And analyze even when things are written plainly
But they say they hate poetry
And remember that I would have said the same thing
At sixteen when I was asked.
Adolescence is such a time for questions.
Who am I really?
What do I believe?
Where are my boundaries?
How much can I achieve?
How much should I give away?
And what demand to receive?
How do I care about the world while holding onto pieces of me?
And these questions won’t be answered
Some not for years to come, and others not at all
These kids will learn the hard way that the first
Answer to life’s questions is usually wrong.
So they learn to hate questions they can’t answer definitively
Rather than being in awe of the infinite possibilities.
Because the answer to life is not one thing, but many
It’s the balancing act of reality and possibility
The very beauty of indefinability
The pleasure in knowing beyond doubt that no matter
How long it takes, life can be figured out
The peace that comes from seeing the relativity of possible outcomes
The melding together of days as significant,
But all so similar revolutions of the sun
But nothing feels like that at sixteen
Plays, games, first loves and first dates are the important things
And they should be
So I don’t try to change the students’ minds
About the questions in poetry
I am content to wait and see which ones
Will grow up to know firsthand that they were wrong
The way I did
The words are written definitively
But it’s all about the questions and the possibility