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going forwards

we are all going forward and we cant go back.
i realize this at 10 when i carry my great grandmothers jewelry box out of an apartment she won’t return to.
her skin is the color of daffodil petals and just as thin.
she lets me beat her in chinese checkers and slips me a 2 dollar bill on my way out the door.
“they don’t make these anymore” she says,
“this will be worth something someday”.

i realize this at 15 when i can’t recall if my little brothers favorite color used to be blue or red.
now it is green, like the wide expanses of grass we used to roll upon, digging our fingernails into the flesh of the earth in search of buried treasure and rolly pollys.
we mark off the borders of our make believe houses with twigs: mine is the biggest since i am the oldest.
my sister sits me down in my living room to braid daisies into my hair, tiny fingers working through it like inchworms through the dirt.

i realize this at 18 when i leave my home for the first time, and then the second.
another year over, another year forward.
soon I will be 19, soon I will be 20.
soon my skin will sag and my hair will turn silver as the moon pendant that perpetually hangs around my college roommates neck.
i hope it shines the same way, like the sun tiptoeing across the surface of the lake.
i hope my grandchildren will care for my plants after i die and i hope whoever lives in my house after me never cuts down the hydrangea bush.

this is the way it must be.
even as I lay in my bed, eyes angled up at the ceiling, its white walls still move with time,
spinning with the earths rotation.
tomorrow is fleeting, yesterday will never happen again.
I will make today worth something someday

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The below is a computer-generated response from Neo, Neopoet's computer artificial intelligence:

The poem, "going forwards," presents a poignant narrative of growth, change, and the relentless march of time. It is structured in a way that it chronicles the speaker's life at different ages, creating a sense of progression.

The use of specific ages (10, 15, 18) provides a clear timeline and helps to ground the abstract concept of time in concrete experiences. This is a good strategy to make the theme more relatable to readers.

The poem's imagery is effective in evoking a sense of nostalgia and the fleeting nature of time. For instance, the metaphor of the skin being as thin as daffodil petals, or the image of the sun tiptoeing across the surface of the lake, are both vivid and emotive.

However, the poem could benefit from a more consistent use of metaphor and symbolism. For example, the jewelry box and the $2 bill in the first stanza seem to be significant, but their symbolic meaning isn't fully explored or connected to the overall theme of the poem.

The poem's language is generally clear and accessible, which helps to engage the reader. However, there are a few instances where the phrasing could be more precise. For example, the phrase "digging our fingernails into the flesh of the earth" might be more effectively expressed as "digging our fingernails into the earth's flesh," which maintains the personification of the earth but offers a more natural word order.

The poem's conclusion, with its emphasis on the inevitability of time and change, effectively ties together the different elements of the poem. However, the final line, "We are always moving and we cannot stop," could be rephrased to avoid repetition and to provide a more impactful ending.

Overall, the poem effectively communicates its theme of time and change, and it employs some strong imagery and narrative elements. With some refinement of its metaphors and phrasing, it could be even more powerful.

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Hello, MM,
"...braid daisies into my hair, tiny fingers working through it like inchworms through the dirt..." Such poetry and imagery!
Thank you!

the passing of time, is often a thing that we do not realize in the moment. When we are young and have not experienced seeing someone that we cherish growing old and infirm, we are caught unaware. You seem to have understood from an early age that the years pile on and cause the elderly to need more interaction with youth. I have been extremely lucky to have had a life that has included older relatives, who have been a good influence on me. Nicely done. ~ Geez.

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