Being twenty

15541394_10202354632784646_1452891421884110148_nThinking back

being twenty wasn’t as shiny

as bronze coin swallowed by carp


I went to eat Chinese and made a wish

to be young again


at twenty

I thought my breasts already hung forlorn

much like the oak grandfather clock

my father lifted from a former nunnery

when the nuns were gone and buried with the rhododendrons

the building disarticulated stood empty

beseeching intruders

awaiting renovation into flats for rich city dwellers

whose coins were gold

my father said

it seems a shame to let these apple and plum trees

be torn up and shredded they are mature and have

earned a right

so by night we dug up their rosewood roots

hefting in my grandfather’s wheel barrow down cobbled street

planted them in the little weedy garden out back

where they endured without their crowns


much as I endured being twenty

thinking myself imperfect

because of the pressure

burning like a hot wire in my

fizzing young head

like tight roller skates leave indents

my father said the trees never

bore fruit after moving

because once you’re planted

you grow roots only once


maybe that’s like being young

you are a tumbleweed and whilst some

take to being a spirit composed of air

there is something reassuring

like a warm fire or

a steaming bath

when you know it doesn’t really matter

all the fanciful dreams you had intended to wear

the way you sucked your stomach in

when he touched you underneath your dress

that tugged uncomfortably at tight seams

because you wanted to be

as gamine as

Audrey Hepburn


21 thoughts on “Being twenty

  1. Candice, have you ever noticed how we focus too much on decade changing years. Thinking back – it turned out ages 24, 26, 32, 34 and 38 were very good years – I completed a major effort that took 5 years at 24 and got married and had three children the other ages. How about you – what ages were the best? Keith

  2. Agreed. I think when we are very young biggest mistake is confining ourselves by an age, and as we grow (both spiritually and in terms of years) we realize this, it sets us free, and though we do not have say, 80 years left in our lives, imagine if we did what we would do knowing what we knew? It’s that idea of youth being wasted on the young, I do understand that. But equally, I have no desire whatsoever to be back in my 20s I feel better as I get older, I do understand others desires to be younger again but I do not share them, for me, the expectations levied on you in your 20’s were claustraphobic, as soon as I got out of my 20’s I felt much freer.

  3. Candice, well said. When you get to thirty, you have a better sense of what you want and whom to trust (or not trust). You are not there yet, but when you get to 50, you know not to spend your time suffering fools and will avoid them when possible. A good friend said it this way, you don’t give a shit what some folks think.

    I see you with a great sense of self. I admire this about you. Take care, my friend, Keith

  4. 50 is a long way off for me but even so, I feel age is mostly positive and those like my father who are it negatively do themselves great harm, a self fulfilling prophecy. When you’re 20 something you’re filled with a news that isn’t your own, a need to prove, as you say, as you get older it drops away, the absurdity revealed, that’s liberating and i never felt peace as a kid, now sometimes I do. The trust thing I’m still working on, but self trust definitely so.

  5. Youth sees life as black and white, cup half empty. Age flips that around so we look at life as an adventure, many shades of grey and cup half full πŸ™‚

  6. This is beautiful, Candice. I don’t think I would mind being 20 again for a little while….but I do think I would miss my future self that has the privilege of our friendship. Much love, Warrioress. ❀

  7. Most men I have found in my limited experience, would rather be 20 again, mostly when asked, so they could ask out a cheer leader they never got to ask … most women say they do not wish to be 20 again because of the pain of those years – I believe this though I think women may vainly wish to have the skin of a 20 something they do not want the experiences – says something about the genders doesn’t it? Thank you sweet man. xo

  8. Wise words! I couldn’t agree more! I honestly am not one of those people who is saying it, I really do feel better in my own skin now than say, a decade ago. Progress? πŸ˜‰

  9. Candice, responding to those revealed absurdities is why I blog. It helps keep my sanity to use my voice for this purpose. Keith

  10. Someone has to. What passes for ‘fact’ and unbiased news is laughable. It’s a wonder anyone with common sense can stand it, but that’s what happens when you hand over the microphones to the masses, the downside of the internet and the upside, for the lone voices of reason.

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