Do not mistake reticence for virtue, child –
My wish for you is not a safe life but one
Populated with burdens of your own choosing,
Unforeseen perhaps but developing naturally
Along the route you have taken into the wider world.
You’ll find their weight of diminishing importance
When measured against the poetry of
The road that stretches before you,
Its coquettish bends and slopes obscuring
The terrain that will meet your steps
In the many days to come.
Then, whether you find yourself overwintering
In many-roomed palace or sodden ditch, you will
Nonetheless rest easy, drunk if not on wine then with
The heady conviction that whatever you may lack,
At least the life that you have lived has been your own.
And when at last your path breaks upon the
Shoreline of some unspeakably vast ocean,
You will find yourself well-prepared to taste
The saline tang of the surf that will surely
Bear you breathless into a new adventure.
And The Sunday Whirl (Prompt words: ditch, palace, virtue, bends, wish, steps, burden, poetry, diminishing, room, drunk, breaks)