Coming of Age

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The changes happened gradually,
like a shadow creeping over the light of my innocence.
I don’t remember the exact moment it happened but
I remember how it felt to look in the mirror
and not recognize myself.

I once held all the promise of the world,
Living free as every child does.
I rode my bike up and down the street until
I was bathed in the glow of the streetlights,
blanketed under the velvet, star-laden sky.

I had no knowledge of the good and evil that
the world kept secret.
I did what I was told, never thinking
twice about what might happen if I chose
to fight back.

One ordinary day, I woke up.
I noticed that my legs were too long for my jeans,
And my arms weren’t quite covered by my sleeves.
I didn’t quite fit into my clothes,
Or the world I lived in.

That was the same time that I noticed
That the world made less sense than usual.
I began to notice the shadows overtaking the light
And no matter how hard I screamed,
It seemed like no one could hear me.

From that day forward, I lived as an adult.
I traded in my toys and freedom for the
endless responsibilities and painful decisions
that awaited me in my teenage years.
I went quietly, allowing the chains to encase me without a word.

I am a slave to the years that have come upon me.
I am young, but each day I lose a little bit
more of the light I once held in my hand.
In my rare moments, though, where I am myself, relaxed,
I can still shine through the rust.





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jacobmhkim said...
Jan. 31, 2011 at 3:55 am
I don't know why but I always love coming of age novels. I think it's because they tell me that nothing practical truly matters. Anyways, I think your poem really defines growing up. I especially liked the last line how you still have moments of youth that come back. We all should try to grab onto those moments
 
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