youth

to be young 
is a frightening thing.
it means coming up against 
all the darkest
things of life:
death
loss
grief
loneliness
despair
before you’ve had the chance
to understand what they mean.
it means facing certain facts:
the ones you love most 
you must someday let go;
you will never be the child
you once were;
nor are you likely to become
what you once dreamed of being.
it means staring into your remaining years
as an unfathomable abyss
& fearing what change
what loss of current circumstance
may take place therein.
it means realizing that: 
the words you least want to listen to
are those you most need to hear;
joy and loss
are in fact one and the same;
your tears are the bridge
between your most treasured moments
& the knowledge of their impermanence;
all things of this world will fade
& clinging to them cannot prolong the inevitable;
running away only brings you closer
to the thing from which you run;
& the only way for pain to end
is to feel it as deeply as you can
for as long as it wishes to be felt.

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