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.