Young Man

Young man, go about your travels.
Seek out the giants you feared as a boy.
But know that certain tales of their terror,
Should not be taken lightly.
Do not mistake sensibility for cowardice.

Young man, seek out adventure.
Do the things that you should not.
But do them with your eyes wide open,
And one of them ever fixed upon your starting point.
Because breadcrumbs may not lead you back again.

Young man, love with fury and courage.
Present your heart to those who may break it.
Because in mending its shards,
You will see inside of it,
And learn what it is made of.

Young man, be not afraid.
Many wars are won through battles conceded.
Confront your demons bravely.
But never forget whose side you’re on,
When you face yourself in battle.

Young man, stand your ground.
Do not let others cast their doubt into you,
But know that forgiveness, unlike opportunity,
Must be asked for sincerely,
And cannot be seized.

Young man, emancipate yourself.
Know that you are not the well from which you have sprung.
But do not lose sight of the love that made you.
Nor the fact that the pale, like you,
Is human and fallible.

Young man, hold fast the things that you love.
For when all else seems lost,
They will be your compass.
And you will get lost as you search for treasure,
Until you realise that home is where it’s hidden.

– Gord Laws 2011

This is a poem that I wrote myself as I turned 30. It’s one of my favourite pieces of writing. My very dear friend David Le Roux told me that he would gift it to his some when he comes of age. That was a real honour. It’s dear to me, this one. I still really like it. It’s ageing well, I think.