Dear Millennial

“The purpose of living,” you ask, and “what’s the point?”
It all seems useless to you looking forward
in instant algorithms, but it’s after,
once you’ve weighed anchor, only from afar,
you see, the way the beveled cliffs of Dover
tower to their full height when you set sail.

I’m not a model, I have to admit.
I’ve turned down so many chances of living,
my house is cluttered with measuring cups a husband
gave me for Christmas, half of its windows
walled over in stone — what the French do
to lower their taxes. It’s uncomfortable,

the questions you’re asking, when the furniture
fills up the spaces that were once my own.
I’m not a role model, and I can tell you
things it wouldn’t be good for you to hear,
the multiple selves I left disappointed
for you to bloom, how the sore heart pauses

remembering life before it has been lived,
time counted now against a drip-drop clock
no one can see.

Nevertheless, I think

how the light filters through the balsam fir,
gliding to morning as the fog lifts off,
gilding horizons, blanching the grass —

nothing of what you loved once has been lost.
Only the gladness of an open heart,
wonder, the surprises that keep me alive,
blossom, that sweeter impulse to impart
something within to these ungentle shores —

a life, my dear millennial, that’s yours.

Alabama Literary Review