Cycling through sevens

photo by Daan Spijer

We talk of milestones, harking back
 to when distances were told in miles
 and twenty-one was three times seven
 of a life unfolding. Then the smiles
 of family and friends told of the mark this was.
 Young woman now, no longer child.
 No longer at behest of elders and their rules,
 but looking for your own. Charting your own way
 in a changing world, where milestones are passé
 and we forget the value of these ancient tools.
 Now kilometres tell the journey and a child no more
 at eighteen years, instead of one-year-and-one-score.
 Yet seven usefully still marks the stages of a life.
 Once-seven and the formal learning starts,
 then twice-seven, feel the yearning for another
 with the turmoil of the hurricanes of passion,
 vulnerable to what all others think
 and uncertain of the best and latest fashion.
 Now at three-times-seven,
 three years past your formal selfhood,
 comes the fourth and final part of this first cycle.
 Now your opportunity for wisdom and the forging of a life
 you make yourself, to then pass on to younger folk.
 Finally, at twenty-eight, the chance arrives
 to slough off shackles not of your devising
 and the gilded cage which kept you safe,
 but at the cost of sovereignty you could not own.
 Then you fly, if so you choose, into unknowns
 and start again as if a babe, in wonder at the world.
 You cycle twice or thrice or more, each time reborn
 into a universe you dream into existence
 and which you sculpt with labour and your own insistence.