Are We There Yet?

Once I was a baby.
Twice I was a child.
Three times I grew up
thinking, Ah, this is it.
I’m forty! I’m fifty! Sixty!
This, this is the number.
I’m all grown up, this
is the grown up thing:
maturity, wisdom, all
they keep talking about –
I’ve gotten to it now.

But life kept on as before
so I could see I wasn’t
there yet, there’d be more:
more to learn, to know
to understand and do.
When, then, would I know
the secrets? Seventy?
Surely that’d be old –
really old, right? Even
if it’s only the first gate
rusted, and creaking open.

Judith Arcana

About Judith Arcana

Judith Arcana writes poems, stories, essays and books. One of her stories about abortion & tattoos came out as a zine in 2013 (Keesha and Joanie and JANE); two others are online at Serving House Journal. Her 2012 poetry chapbook is The Parachute Jump Effect, and her Maude poems, a project supported by grants from Oregon’s Regional Arts and Culture Council and Portland’s Celebration Foundation, are part of her new manuscript, Nickel Heart. Judith recently had a sandwich named for her at the lovely&amazing Fleur de Lis Bakery/Café in Portland, Oregon. Listen to her read on SoundCloud; visit
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