That you’d get older, 
                                 old enough
to make sense of things
                that never made sense 
                                 before, clarity
a sort of reward
               for living this long,
                                 the recompense 
for making so many mistakes?
              Did you think you’d stop 
                                walking away
from what should be faced
             and facing
                               what you should
walk away from?
            Did you hope for,
                               if not wisdom, 
at least patience, if not
            a highway, at least
                              a trail you could follow?
Did you think the rain would fall 
            more understandingly
                              on your face, the wind
let you off the hook,
            a fish that’d fought so long
                              it deserved to sleep now 
at the pond’s bottom? Did you hope
            to be so old
                              you’d have worn the world
out, won from it
            begrudging acceptance,
                              to live in this body
so long you’d stop 
            yearning for what
                              it couldn’t give, your mind 
less greedy? That you’d tire
           of worry, terror? Did you think 
                              you deserved better?
Better than what? The trees?
           The stones? The dried-up creek?
                              Did you think you’d be
better prepared
            for what was to come?
                               Think again.