He is Fifteen Going on Forever


My son is learning to drive.

His learners permit burns a whole in his pocket.

He is ready.

He is changing.

He is Fifteen going on Forever.

Tonight while I was trying to choose which of the thousands of poems

I love to post and my son said,

“Have you read Fifteen?”


I had not.

We found it together and I read it aloud.

We sat in silence for a time and he said,

“I really like that poem.”

I watched my son thinking and asked,

“What would you do if you found a bike on the side of the road,

you and Joe out goofing around?”

He thought for a moment.

“I would tell the police. Obviously if you lost your bike you would want it back.”

“Would you ride it first?” I asked.

Without hesitation he said,

“Oh Yes. I would.”

Fifteen and learning to drive.

Fifteen and on the other side of manhood

most of the time now.

He is a Good Man.

He is dreaming I am certain

of a bike

on the  road

and the way the air feels on his face,

and the gravel under the wheels,

counting down his moments to freedom.

This poem is brought to you by my son

A Good Man,

Learning to Drive.

In Peace and in the process of Letting Go,


Happy National Poetry Month



William Stafford

South of the Bridge on Seventeenth
I found back of the willows one summer
day a motorcycle with engine running
as it lay on its side, ticking over
slowly in the high grass. I was fifteen.

I admired all that pulsing gleam, the
shiny flanks, the demure headlights
fringed where it lay; I led it gently
to the road and stood with that
companion, ready and friendly. I was fifteen.

We could find the end of a road, meet
the sky on out Seventeenth. I thought about
hills, and patting the handle got back a
confident opinion. On the bridge we indulged
a forward feeling, a tremble. I was fifteen.

Thinking, back farther in the grass I found
the owner, just coming to, where he had flipped
over the rail. He had blood on his hand, was pale—
I helped him walk to his machine. He ran his hand
over it, called me a good man, roared away.

I stood there, fifteen.

~ by Step On a Crack on April 7, 2013.

2 Responses to “He is Fifteen Going on Forever”

  1. Love the title and the line later in the poem: He is fifteen going on forever.


  2. Nice poem and even better blog! “Fifteen Going On Forever”! Beautiful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: