Plastic Stethoscopes

Well I’ll be damned, but we all grow up.

My childhood friends are your civic leaders,

They’re your parents, your bosses, and your teachers.

And I’m sitting beside you wondering 

what I am going to be when I grow up

I’d love to buy a house

I want a yard, a washing machine, and a dryer

To have talents that are respected,

And respect that is warranted

And no more roommates


I want to be married,

I want to be stable, accountable, bankable, insurable

I want you to want to give me a 30-year mortgage

Jesus, my friends are mortgage brokers

They can draw up the deeds to my house

They are licensed to operate heavy machinery

My friends are doctors, and lawyers, and food truck owners

They are analysts, they’re buying a wedding dress, they have P.h.D.s

I play house, I play doctor, I play Twister

I earn Monopoly money

I forget birthdays

And my mattress is on the floor

and I’ll be damned if we don’t all grow up


11 thoughts on “Plastic Stethoscopes

      • Lili, this poem reminds me a lot about my life. I’m usually in denial about how old I’m getting and all of the responsibilities suddenly. In the bat of an eye, plastic stethoscopes become real ones in the medical field. Play houses become real houses (with mortgages!), costumes for Halloween become suits and ties for work… it goes on and on. Your poem is so refreshing and never thought life this way until now. Thank you

      • Hi Jane, apologies for my late reply but I hadn’t seen this until now, and am grateful for your comment. You summed it up perfectly. There is this brief moment when you realize that all the games you were playing as a child have become your life. It’s the strangest feeling.

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