Becoming an Adult By Matthew P. Winkler

Becoming an Adult

After you finally achieve stability in middle age
Your parents start to fall apart
The airports are all eerily empty during the plague
She squeezes your hand when she hears the lab report

Your parents start to fall apart
Your mom snaps at the doctor, when he talks past her
She squeezes your hand when she hears the lab report
Her pills turn to powder between mortar and pestle

Your mom snaps at the doctor, when he talks past her
Then you roll her chair backwards over the door sill
Her pills turn to powder between mortar and pestle
You won't buy her more wine, but her neighbor will

Then you roll her chair backwards over the door sill
Perfectly still there on the slab, swallowing the terror
You won't buy her more wine, but her housekeeper will
She complains about the painful blisters

Perfectly still, there on the slab. You swallow the terror
The airports are still eerily empty during the plague
She complained about the painful blisters
After you finally achieved stability in middle age

Matthew P. Winkler is the author of Mentoring Teenage Heroes: The Hero’s Journey of Adolescence and of the Ted-Ed lesson “What Makes a Hero?” He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and currently works at Woodhall Press. He rises each morning to read and write poetry until sunlight touches the summit of Sonoma Mountain.

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