Last Christmas while visiting my brother and his family in Jupiter, Florida, we planned a trip to West Palm Beach to see a production of The Nutcracker. My thirteen-year-old niece wanted to go shopping and stay overnight with a friend instead of accompanying her family to some boring ballet. The ensuing argument between her and her mother inspired the title poem in my chapbook, That’s Life: New and Selected Poems, due to be released by Finishing Line Press at the end of August.
Oh you of thirteen years,
when told you can’t go to the mall
or sleep over with a friend,
please understand that’s the way life is.
If you grow up thinking
you’ll always have your way,
you’ll be sadly disappointed
so better put on your big girl pants—
deal with it.
Do you remember when you were thirteen? How about when your children or grandchildren were thirteen?