I wrote this poem a few years ago, when S was still in high school and M was in middle school. These days, S is a sophomore in college and M is a high school senior. My how time flies!
The poem is a Petrarchan sonnet, which adheres to the rhyme scheme ABBAABBACDCDCD. It first appeared in the excellent online journal, Chantarelle's Notebook.
Lessons I Wish I Could Share With My Teenage Daughter
by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
Pay close attention to the words boys say:
It's not their tone or attitude that matter.
They frequently speak truth, whether they flatter,
Cajole, berate or seem like they're at play.
Don't be so quick to give yourself away –
You are more Alice than you are Mad Hatter.
Don't worry so much over hallway chatter:
Most drama lasts no longer than a day.
Sometimes you grow up faster than your friends,
While other times, you'll struggle to keep pace –
It's not a race. Remember no one spends
Eternity in high school. It's a place
To learn life's ropes, but everyone transcends
Their adolescence: suffering into grace.