The Flashlight of Wisdom

I’m the anomaly in the class.
That older student,
Who has been down the path before,
And is back for another go.
Twenty years have passed since I used to be them.
And I feel it more keenly than ever before.

All the the mistakes I’ve made,
The pleasure and pain, and triumph and defeat.
The joy and despair I’ve felt.
The things I’ve done.
And learned.

And learned…

I’m not necessarily smarter than they are.
I’ve just been around a lot longer.
I guess this is what you call wisdom.
Am I wise?
I don’t know.

I feel both envy and apprehension,
About all the experiences,
That will shape and harden,
And break and reform them.
There’s so much I want to tell them!
But I know it won’t help that much.

I can give them a flashlight,
But it won’t illuminate the whole path.
They’ll have to stumble their own way through,
Just like I did.