Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter



It’s a myth
That you come of age at 21,
That you know then what you want to be,
That you know then who you are,
That life from there is painless.

It was our elders’ structural incompetence
To have thought numbers define us.

It’s a myth
That old age brings wisdom,
That grown children make parents’ lives easier,
That a certain age makes us free,
That a certain age makes them free,
That years separate us from responsibility.

They made the legends to split generations.

It’s a myth
That we mature like wine or fine furniture,
That the patina of time gives us a veneer of sure knowledge,
That knowledge is power over the future,
That we wake on a certain day fully formed.

They made up words to drive us back to the cradle.

It’s a myth
That we can’t change the world
As children or adults,
A myth that we can’t be different
If we want success,
That rules must be obeyed
And circles squared.

They wanted us to be the same as them.

It’s a myth
That we have to be.

For Charlotte on her 21st birthday.


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