Looking back, each stage of life

Plays a part, like fork and knife.

Showing us a different view

Of something old like something new.


Infancy, when a little soul

Enters a body without control

Of arms and legs, taste, sound and sight.

We work for years to get it right.


In childhood, we learn the magnitude

Of parental beliefs and attitudes

On love and hate, war and peace,

Prejudice, marriage and man's defeat.


Adolescence is a time to shout,

"Mother, please!  I'll figure it out!

I need to decide if you're attitude

Is meaningful or merely platitude!"


And then in twenties, decisions are made.

Working?  College?  Or maybe a trade?

Deciding to love someone 'til the end,

Creating the cycle all over again.

This time, the job is to help a small soul

Learn how to cope and grow up whole.

It's fragile, and every word, touch and kiss

Will help or hinder this life filled with bliss.


Children need more space of their own.

And yet, they need guidance 'til they're grown.

The struggle to let loose as children grow up

Is like waltzing in tar pits with Daffy Duck.


Tug and pull, push and tug.

Suddenly everything's clear as mud.

Who is this grown-up standing with me?

He has my child's name, but who could he be?


The lesson now is to know the man

That grew with help from parents' hands.

This soul did not belong to me.

I give it up reluctantly.


Perhaps when cycle starts again

I'll learn to know another friend.

And, seeing one more cycle part,

I'll learn, again, with a willing heart.


©Lynnette Schuepbach, October 9, 1992