A poem for a birthday boy

My second son turns 17 today.

He’s in the middle of that dreaded junior year of high school, where everything matters, from grades to standardized tests to girls and friends to music and memes.

In addition to the things my wife and I have wrapped for him to open tonight after a dinner of hamburgers (his choice) and homemade cheesecake (also, his choice), I offer him this poem by Shel Silverstein.

The Voice

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel that this is right for me,
I feel that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you — just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

P.S.: After my birthday boy read this poem, he asked me if it was about schizophrenia. Another reason to love him.



3 thoughts on “A poem for a birthday boy

  1. Pingback: A different poem for a different birthday boy – Shelf Improvement

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