20/30 April is National Poetry Month

Nineteen

“It’s the last year of your teen-aged years” she said,
I was going to marry her son
Thirties, two children and a drug habit that would take him from everything.

I didn’t know that.
I also didn’t know that love didn’t come on the end of acid filled tongues,
rageful fits of thrown items across rooms,
squeeling tires peeling out of driveways,
in other people’s beds one did not belong,
and violent threats against my family.

I did not stay.
I eventually left with nothing,
a car that didn’t work,
no money, no self-esteem,
but you can’t compete with cocaine and sex-addiction.

I wonder sometimes how many are nineteen,
and leaving the best of their teen-aged years in the hands of those who don’t care,
don’t feel enough,
don’t really want anything but to control them,
only to give that up in the end when something else catches their eyes.

What I would say to them?
You are wise beyond your years,
your eyes, your lips, your smile, your heart will move mountains,
but I know how deep that hole runs in the center of your soul,
and that no one ever told you how much you are really worth,
and I know their voice speaks louder than any god,
and how waiting for them to say magic will take up most of your time,
they’ll never say it, I can guarantee that,
coming from one who waited for years until she realized she had to say it to herself.
So if you find yourself unable to wait any more,
spent most of your time on tears, empty promises and scar tissue,
Happy Birthday,
It’s going to be unbelievable. 

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