When I was a teenager,
I used to roll my eyes at adults who would smile,
pat my back and shake their heads at my pain
As if to say I hadn’t seen a fraction of what pain really looks like
In my twenties I find myself shaking my head
at teenagers who hurt over school and young love
And I think there will be bigger heartbreaks,
and they will be embittered by the
world’s indifference to their suffering.
Look how I have become the adult I use to hate.
I wonder if there’s someone older
Shaking their head at me
for stooping my back at this degree of pain
I allow the guilt to visit a little while
And send an invisible hug to the hurting teenager
Because no one knows better than me,
That every shade of pain is valid.