Eighteen

Lines form on my face and hands

lines form from the ups and downs

I’m in the middle without any plans

I’m a boy and I’m a man

I’m eighteen

and I don’t know what I want

eighteen

I just don’t know what I want

eighteen

I gotta get away

I gotta get out of this place

I’ll go runnin’ in outer space

I got a baby’s brain and an old man’s heart

took eighteen years to get this far

Don’t always know what I’m talkin’ about

feels like I’m livin’ in the middle of doubt

cause I’m eighteen….

~Alice Cooper

 

Eighteen.

Old enough to care.

Young enough to be carefree.

Old enough to be independent.

Young enough to be dependent.

 

Eighteen.

The age of freedom.

The age of youth.

The age of joy.

 

Eighteen.

Young enough to hit the gas

Push the limits

Fly.

 

Eighteen.

Old enough to drive

Cars, motorcycles

Tanks.

 

Eighteen.

Young enough to believe

In a cause

In an ideal

 

Eighteen.

Old enough to understand

A reality

That makes no sense.

 

Eighteen.

Young enough to stand tall

In uniform

Armed and ready

 

Eighteen.

Old enough not to question

And to go

When called to duty.

 

Eighteen.

Young enough

Old enough

To die.

 

Lines form on my face and hands

lines form from the ups and downs

I’m in the middle without any plans

I’m a boy and I’m a man

I’m eighteen

STOP…In The Name Of God

With each report…of sirens…rockets…terror…

My heart constricts…shrinks…and trembles…

And I try…to be strong…to be fierce…to believe…

That this land…our land…my land…

Is protected…by a power…an Almighty…

Who is determined…to let us…prevail…

And as these thoughts…float through my head…

They meet another train…of wandering words…

That say…that it sounds…eerily similar…to the rhetoric…they use.

And I am confused…because God…the same God…is being launched…

As a weapon…for both sides…of a war…with no end.

My thoughts…attack each other…until I realize…the solution…is only…to be rid…of the thought…altogether.

I am left…empty…hollow…afraid.

But then…my daughter…chanting Psalms…as she asks the God she was taught to love…to keep…everyone…safe…all the soldiers…all the people…everyone…allays my fear…with her simple…pure…convictions.

I am struck…with a new thought…of right and wrong…good and evil…and the God…the same God for everyone…who also gave my brain…the abilities…the opportunities…to make choices…to find my way…through…around…between…the thoughts…that collide…and explode…and confuse.

The children sleep…in relative safety…for now…and I align myself…with the side of this war…that will ensure their safety…and reaffirm my belief…that my God…wants me…to do what’s right…for me.