Dreaming and daring
and experimenting are more fun
when you are much younger
because you have all those years ahead
when you can maneuver or change course.
When you are older the six-lane highway
narrows into a single-lane country road,
with no sure promise of a gas station ahead,
and the maps won't help you.
Here there be dragons.
But now even the dragons don’t care.
Not for you anyway.
Dead-ends come up more frequently
than you think they ought.
Footpaths abound and they promise
slow-going and possible loops
and various levels of getting lost.
Witches in baked houses wave you away.
They think they have nothing to gain from you.
Your blood is bitter, they say, your skin is tough.
Your eyes are murky
and your heart has been broken too many times.
You have bled in more ways than one,
you are tainted and damaged.
You are no prize.
Even if you give yourself away
there will be no takers.
Animals won't speak to you,
won't waste a word or a breath.
You reek of too much reality, they say.
Your logic is terrifying, they say,
your practicality can kill us.
Hence you are met with silence.
You are not harmed, but you are not helped.
You are alone. Who will want you?
Maybe the earth is hungry
and will take your flesh and your bones.
Find a quiet space and lie down.
Or find the sea and be swallowed by the waves.
Are you looking for adventure?
A fairy tale?
Aren't you a couple decades too late?