The plagues we wished upon ourselves
With aloe juice and cayenne
The planets we strained to reach
That was how being young tasted
Each of us a geode looking to be cracked open
And to crack each other open
Over and over
I am no longer young except to those who are older
In the way that youth moves along
The conveyor belt
At a consistent distance
I drink water now
I try to be gentle
The years crack you open enough


Copyright © 2015 by Alicia Jo Rabins. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 2, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem is from ‘Fruit Geode,’ a manuscript in progress that meditates on the experience of pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood. As I grow older, and life bangs me up a little bit, I learn how to be a little bit gentler towards others and towards myself. Much as I love and respect the wildness of youth, saying goodbye to that is the subject of this poem.”
Alicia Jo Rabins