One of the things I’ve been trying to do in 2016 is challenge myself, so I decided to use social media as a kind of interactive muse. I posted a status on Facebook asking people to finish this line: No one ever tells you about____.  I used the results (All but one, which deserves a poem of its own that is still brewing in my mind.) to create this poem.  I think it was a worthy experiment. What do you think?


No One Tells You

No one ever tells you
the important little truths,
or if they do, we don’t really listen;
we just nod and smile and say, “I know.”

They don’t tell you
you’ll miss your eyesight
more than your memory,
or the frustration of anything
within arm’s reach being unreadable.

They don’t tell you
that no matter how much weight you lose,
you’re never going to think of yourself as thin,
or that you can’t ever stop exercising
or all your hard work will be for naught.

They don’t tell you
you can live a healthy life, follow all the rules
and still die young,
or that you can smoke, drink, eat to excess, never exercise,
and live to a ripe old age.

They don’t tell you
how no matter how old you get
or whose face peers at you in the mirror,
in your mind you are always
that young person having fun in faded photos.

They don’t tell you
that in your heart
you never truly believe you’re a grownup,
that you’re always looking for
that parental approval,
the pat on the back that says you’ve done well,
the voice of reason when you’re at wit’s end.

They don’t tell you
that the person you love with all your heart
may turn out to be a very different person
than who you believed them to be–
and that it won’t change a thing
because you love them anyway.

They never tell you
that someday you’ll wake up,
only to realize that no matter
how much time you’ve been given,
it isn’t ever enough.

Elise Skidmore ©2016

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    1. Thanks, Suz, for your comment and for responding to the original request on Facebook. I knew as soon as I read it, that your response would be the final verse of whatever poem resulted.

  1. They don’t tell you to remember you are an amazing person with a heart full of joy that will always be adored by the family she loves with all of her heart. Very beautiful !