it's a Monday.
you're four, and you have the day off from preschool.
your mom takes you to the zoo, and you marvel
at the fish in the tanks, and the caged birds and tigers.
you don't think too much about the world,
you're too busy devouring the now.
you're seven now, and it's a Wednesday.
you're in your classroom.
you glue cut-outs to a piece of paper,
not bothering that it's a mess.
you don't care, you don't notice.
you're too busy trying to figure out
when you'll be taller than your dad.
he told you it might take a while, but with your fingers crossed,
maybe....it'll happen tonight?
you'll show him.
soon, it's a Friday, and you're ten years old.
sitting behind a table with your after-school snack.
books and paper and colored pencils spread out before you.
you're busy trying to replicate a polar bear,
copying from your favorite encyclopedia.
the lines and curves aren't quite right,
nor do the edges meet up the way you intended,
so you try again, sipping at your apple juice.
skip a while, and you're sixteen.
headphones, blocking out noise with more noise.
you're back at the zoo, watching the colorful fish,
the caged birds, the tiger.
you know what it feels like to be caged, now,
and wish you could set these beautiful things free.
you rub the circles beneath your eyes and sigh,
standing and making your way to the exit.
you'll be twenty-nine, and then
thirty, forty, seventy-eight.
then maybe you'll be gone,
set free, laid down to rest in the soft brown dirt.
but right now, it's all about you,
and how you choose to spend the time you have,
the time before you're only dust in the wind.
so don't worry, just do what makes you smile.
you'll find it.