for Ayla Huguenot
Ayla! You are now 13!
Ask yourself—what does that mean?
Hear that noise, half-scream half-shout?
That’s your mom! She’s freaking out!
So what’s 13? It’s a trip!
Trust me—I served on that ship.
I was 13 once too. (Damn.
That was during Vietnam.)
I know—that’s ancient history.
But ancient is what YOU will be.
You’ll think your life is all but done—
Y’know—when you turn 21.
But until then—and even after—
Fill up your days with songs and laughter.
This is your time to take the wheel
And aim yourself at an ideal
And take off like a thunderclap
Down roads that only you can map
Full of great sights and cool rest stops
(And hopefully free of traffic cops).
And so, from one whose teens were mad—
I was protesting war! And fighting with Dad!—
Who’s lived till (drum roll) 64—
Here are some rules you will ignore:
Hold and hug, but never clutch.
Don’t be someone else’s crutch.
Make the time to write and play.
Live the now, not yesterday.
When you don’t feel, don’t pretend it.
When your heart breaks, Time will mend it.
When in doubt, be like Joe Strummer.
Never—ever—date a drummer.
Daring is your magic wand.
Always reach for what’s beyond.
When you see a challenge? Do it!
Trust your gut!—just don’t add to it.
Don’t do more than two encores.
Remember—looks will open doors
But they don’t furnish the room.
Always prepare; never assume.
Be a troubadour at heart.
Finish everything you start.
When your life’s attacked by schmucks,
Please give zero rhymes-with-ducks.
Grow a garden. Fill a hole.
Risk rejection. Feed your soul.
Stroll when others push and shove.
The heart has no sex—let it love.
Listen closely. Use your voice.
Guard your freedoms—speech and choice.
Never fail to right a wrong.
Tell your story. Be a song.
Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells