Okay, here’s a rough draft. I thought about just putting it out there, but I always feel the need to intro my poems by saying they’re a rough draft. I guess I feel a little more self-conscious about my poetry, so I think that people will go easier on their critiques if they know I plan to keep working on a poem. Anyway, here it goes.
There were the careless days of childhood –
when our teachers led us, single-file, to bathroom breaks, to lunchtime and to recess,
when we were too young to watch violence,
when we knew nothing of death,
when computers were at school
and phones attached to the wall.
Then came the careless days of adolescence –
when we had to find our own way around school,
when we thought we had to figure out who we are and what we wanted to do
when we didn’t pay the bills,
when we didn’t buy the groceries,
when we didn’t worry about our health.
Then came the careless days of being single –
when the bills came along,
when we worried about our jobs,
when we tried to figure out what we wanted to accomplish
and whom we wanted to go home with.
But we were responsible for only ourselves,
and we were on our own,
dancing ’til dawn, shooting pool, downing shots.
Then came the careless days of marriage –
when we were married to men, to mortgages, to careers, to diets,
when we worried about our health, our parents’ health, our jobs, our bills
when we tried to figure out what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives,
But we could take a trip on the spur of the moment,
and our homes were quiet,
and we didn’t have to watch our language.
Now are the days of parenthood –
when we fear for our children’s safety,
when we worry about their health,
when our world revolves around them,
when we wonder who’ll they’ll want to be,
when we pray and hope and work and pay and laugh and cry
and do it all so that their innocent, smiling faces
will know the careless days we once knew.