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by Xuan Mai Nguyen

You are a tiny jellybean
at the start of it all,
and the most that you have seen
is inside your mom's walls.

It's a safe and quiet place,
the perfect spot for you to grow.
Your mom's even got space
for your fingers and your toes.

She is eager to meet you,
she has been for a while.
And the day that you are due
is when she will truly smile.
At seven years’ old,
you are just like any kid.
You don't like when you are told
about things you never did.

There are certain things you see
that you don't quite understand.
Like why grown-ups love coffee
when the taste is so bland?

Or how high is the sky
from your feet to the moon?
Is there a chance you could fly
if you are tied to balloons?

At fourteen years of age,
the world is in your grip.
You are a long grievance page
with a sharpened pencil tip.

Your parents are a headache,
and your school is a bore.
You struggle to stay awake
through all their constant chores.

They tell you adulting is tough,
that you should enjoy life right now.
Perhaps, they don't have fun enough,
maybe one day you'll show them how.

You are lucky twenty-one,
that's a coming of age you think.
A perfect time for having fun,
and discovering your favorite drink.

Though party life may not
be as grand as most would hope
And some days you can't stop the thought
of how hard life is to cope.

Life's lessons cover it all
from sad heartaches to lost friends.
Yet, as often as you may fall,
you are bound to rise up again.

Twenty-eight was the year
when your mom became a mom.
Where even her smallest fear
turned into a steady, happy calm.

She had never given much thought
to what people do or say.
And thank heavens she did not
or you wouldn't be here today.

Eventually, you could learn
every one of her best traits.
So when it's time for your turn,
you too will be someone great.

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