Untitled: A Poem

All my childhood I was asked

whether I wanted to be

a doctor or an engineer,

and as a teenager I decided

that I would be neither–

that I would be different,

 

and I’m asked everyday

what I want to be when I grow up,

(turns out sane isn’t

the correct answer)

 

whether I have a plan,

(turns out no isn’t

the correct answer)

 

which college I want to study in,

(turns out the one that doesn’t 

turn me into a zombie

isn’t the correct answer)

 

because people want me to grow up

before I am ready to;

they say this world is no place

for a child, and it’s unfathomable

for one to not want a place

in this world.

 

And it makes me wonder,

if I ever became an adult,

who will I be?

 

Will I be the one who’s struggling

to cope with responsibility,

because I clung on to my childhood

as my friends left it behind;

the one who is stuck

conjuring castles in the clouds

while the rest of the world

conjures business opportunities

and profit margins out of

line graphs and pie charts

that she could never really understand?

 

Will I be the cool professional

who earns for a family

she has never known;

sheds blood, sweat and tears

climbing up a ladder that

leads nowhere, all the while

yearning to go back home,

where her heart leads her,

to children who have known

the love of a nanny better than

they’ve known a mother’s love—

but no, how can she give up

when she’s almost at the top, stray from

the only race she knows to win?

 

Will I be the adult who every child

is warned about; the one who made

a mistake and took the spiral down,

down into the dregs of humanity,

the very ones her parents

warned her about,

down into the dregs of humanity,

never again to be found?

 

Will I be the one who finds

true happiness in this world;

the one who can hear the tinkling

of ladybugs as they tiptoe

across a leaf, feel the smile

of the wind as it carries

a melody with it,

the one who finds soaring joy

in searing pain, tranquil calm

even in the noisiest abyss

and sights of unimaginable beauty

in this ugly, repulsive world?

 

Perhaps I’ll be the one who’s lost,

or the one who’s lost hope,

the one who has found a voice

or the one who never found her soul.

 

Perhaps one day I’ll know–

twenty, thirty or forty years from now;

and I can reach into the empty drawer
at the bottom of my cupboard,

unfold the disheveled piece of paper

on which I first wrote this poem;

 

scratch out the ‘Untitled’

that’s printed across the margin

in an impatient, soul-searching scrawl,

a question I didn’t know the answer to

as a child on the brink of adulthood

 

and put my sixteen year old

mind’s turmoil to rest with a word

that’ll take me a lifetime to find.

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15 thoughts on “Untitled: A Poem

  1. This is incredible! I loved reading every line, and i can relate to the feeling of everyone constantly asking what it is you are going to do with your life and not ever having the right sounding answer, if i have one at all. But oh, i could image out everything you described, so perfectly and emotionally described, and i felt it! The last 14 lines were a perfect ending and so filled with hope. Really enjoyed reading ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this hits so close to home! 💛 the uncertainty of the future, the stubborn determination to not conform to a life away from art, from happiness, is so strong. i’m 20 now and i still feel it. this is so well written 💛 one day you’ll have that answer, and it’ll be wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the imagery in this poem, it’s incredible! And this is something that I think is so relatable to a lot of people.
    Never compromise on what you want to do. Keep searching to find that career that you love so much that it never really feels like a job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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