The Youth Uninhibited by Habits of Fear

It was a combination of a random encounter with an elderly couple over the weekend and a writing prompt from my poetry club that inspired this poem. Enjoy 🙂


I’m a 22 year old girl, 5 months shy of her 23rd birthday.
Even though my friends say 23 is old, I can’t seem to forget the age that crippled Anne’s bones or the years flowing from Peter’s mouth during every love story.
Old wedding pictures.
Moving cities.
Quitting jobs for their son who was one of the first children to introduce “Autism” to the world.
I feel old like them.
Like when my bones creak like naked winter trees.
I can feel myself knowing better than to walk outside without a coat on
I know better because I’ve seen frost freeze fingers.
And I’ve stepped on glass enough to fear the scattered emotions that come with heartbreak or lust.
But somewhere,
There’s this youth inside me-
A youth that’s uninhibited by habits of fear so I don’t look before I cross the street,
And I don’t feel danger,
Or predict sadness.
My hands don’t sweat like a mother’s when her baby leaves for their first sleepover after her eldest never returned from theirs.
I’m fearless like a four year old jumping into a pile of wet leaves or attempting jumping jacks on ice.
The feet on my lungs don’t skip breaths.
I exhale innocence even though my thoughts fire with experience.
My body is a science made of atoms that talk and atoms that cry themselves to sleep.
I have weeping willows in my chest but I’ve taught them to tickle my core
But technically,
I’m just a 22 year old girl, 5 months shy of her 23rd birthday.

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