Ode to the Death of Childhood

Lo, here lies Childhood—

Her rosy-cheeked innocence

Finally struck down

By Adulthood’s bitterness.

They carry the child

With reverence and grace—

Understanding, Growth,

Knowledge, Acceptance—posthaste.


Before her coffin

Kneels poor Regret—

Her sobs and tears

Not finished yet.

The coffin is lowered

And covered with dirt;

Everyone leaves—

Cold, quiet, and hurt.


Loneliness and Pain

Weep here as well—

‘Tis the loss of a friend

And a too-soon farewell.

But despite all this gloom,

Dear Hope left a gift:

The spirit of Childhood

Awoken and swift!


At the back of the church

Stand figures three:

Anger, Resentment,

And shocked Disbelief.

Lovely Nostalgia

With familiar face

Visits quite often

And can’t be erased.


The Fair friar Hope

Presides o’er the rites,

While the pallbearers meet

With solemn Foresight.

When Adulthood has children,

She smiles with glee—

For she hap’ly remembers

How grand Childhood could be.


Biographical Note: Madelynn Johnson is a senior at Assumption University in Worcester, MA. She is majoring in English Writing and Mass Communications and minoring in History and Spanish. She plans to attend Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing program after graduation. With this degree, she aims to become an adjunct professor to support her novelist endeavors. Madelynn reflects on the transition from childhood to adulthood in her poem, “Ode to the Death of Childhood.”