Late thoughts in a long life getting shorter

[dedicated to Rosie Miranda Baines]

I want to tell you child
The secrets of the universe
How to this, how not to that.
First you will listen, then ignore
You’ll grow your own and call them dreams
You’ll see the world is not as it seems,
Or not and I’ll want to tell you child.
Would that not spoil the unending test
Of your invention, comprehension,
Undermine your self-invention?
Soon you’ll have left the harbour, not soon enough for you,
You’ll be convinced that, come what will, you’ll know what to do,
And I will watch in fear and hope knowing that
I want to tell you child.