Things We’re All Too Young To Know


We’re all too young to know when we will die,
or what will cause it, too young to discover how little
our lives matter, how no amount of planning


or caution will save us. We are too young
to know this is the last vacation we will take
with our grandfather: this one by the shore


where the wind blows only from the east.
We’re too young to have grown children
or arthritis or thin hair, too young to choose


a spouse or profession, to drive a car safely
through the narrow streets of winter.
We’re always too young to have someone


we love tell us they are leaving. We’re too young
for root canals and retirement, too young
for sex, or even the pictures that suggest


its intimate details. We’re too young to play
with matches or to understand why chocolate
is usually eaten after dinner. We’re certainly


too young to know who we will be when
we grow up, to know that the sky’s blues
and grays are indifferent to our luck.


We’re too young for taxes or childbirth,
for dead pets, or the day when we no longer
have parents. We’re too young to find


our own faces foreign: the happiness and sorrow
visible, our skin folded like paper. And we’re
definitely too young for high heels and lipstick,
too young to sit at a bar with a glass of something hard.