On Growing Up: Inspired by Billy Collins

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The whole idea of it makes me feel like I’m coming down with something,
like something’s being snatched away from my core. Grow up, they snap,
when we roar with laughter and roll on the floor at the simplest and
most hilarious sight. A foot caught in the bunched fabric of a throw rug,
the spurt of milk out one’s nostril. The statement never fails to catch me
off guard; the chuckle in my throat hiccuping to an end suddenly.
Grow up? I can imagine it now; the once mischievous smirk on
a boyish face turning into the hard, tired lines on a man’s. Lukewarm
coffee and mystery stains on white collars. Messy desks,
crying babies and nagging wives. I can feel myself graying
at the thought; a kind of measles of the spirit infecting my happiness.
So instead I choose to let my immaturity grow inside, a bright daisy
flowering to burst through my limbs, provoking my fingers to grip and pull
yellow ropes swinging on girls’ heads, to send me flying and looping
blissfully through the air in cartwheels and flips. Instead,
I choose to live life as happy, and obnoxious as I can.
Grow up? Please. Peter Pan has nothing on me.





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