It's a difficult thing, admitting I've
grown old, no longer denying the truth,
and staring deep into my mortality which
until now I've not wanted to accept.
In those flourishing days of my youth
I often felt as if I could outgrow my skin,
heaving and throbbing with life’s lust,
but now I feel I am shrinking back,
back too far into this aging, useless shell,
finally seeing how I'm at the autumn
of my life while it gathers around me
as brittle leaves swirl about a lamppost.
There's much to be learned from an old dog.
Perseverance for one,
when painful knees and legs
no longer work as they once did,
and he must climb the four steps to our deck
to get back to his bed beside my chair.
It takes him numerous attempts,
fitful starts at the first step,
first one leg and then another, testing the pain
and his resolve. He even lets go a few soft moans,
protestations against growing old.
He's 14 years old, about 80 in human terms.
Older than me. A few sprawling leaps and
he makes it up the steps for now.
I dread the day when he gives up trying.
He's become too much a part of me.
Hi friends - I apologize for not posting before this - some month or more since my last post. I'm not sure what it is - this past spring I had to start taking high blood pressure meds and almost from day one I lost my creative juices, no longer wanting to paint, write poetry, etc. My doc has tried me on several different meds but nothing has changed. The creative well is dry. I'm not sure it's the BP meds, but I'm coming to the conclusion that if I want to have those cherished creative impulses back I need to drop the meds. I'm in a quandry - don't want to stroke out, but don't want to go on half alive. Anyone have similar experiences?
His photographs, the three I possess,
are faded and out of focus. But
I can tell he was as tall and skinny
as I was at his age. And he was so young.
People who knew him tell me I look like him.
Even today that gives me a warm feeling.
After all these years you'd think I would feel
differently about him, that my emotions toward
him would have matured along with my age.
He died when I was three years old
and I didn't get to know him as most kids
would their fathers. I don't remember
a thing about him, but I still miss him.
I have a sadness whenever I think of him.
I have heard the familiar voice that
isn't at all familiar, sensed him with me
at times when I open my mind to him,
when I think how he would have been
and what we might have talked about.
I have precious few of his belongings,
his pocket watch with the engraved elk
on the back, the yellow straight razor that
touched his face and would have lasted him
many more years had he been able to live.
The sadness comes when I try to assemble
a living person from the photos of him.
It never works of course. When I was young
I visited his grave in Grand Junction, Colorado,
where he died in a tuberculosis sanitarium.
The cemetery was a peaceful place,
with mourning doves cooing in the shade trees,
the grass seems emerald green and lush,
and the warm breeze carries a faint scent
of Russian olive blossoms. At least that's
how I would want it to be. But it's been years
since I stood above his gravestone.
Yes, life goes on, and when you don't have
memories of a special person, you invent them.
At least I do. I'm good at it. I'm in the process
of doing just that. And the older I become
the more I tend to cherish those memories.
Those extraordinary memories I've never had.
In the night, in the darkness,
the old familiar steals around.
Emerging from corners of my room,
from the stillness and shadows
is a sad repository of memories
I can count on always to cheat
me of comfort and sweet sleep.
It's a difficult thing, admitting we've
grown too old, no longer denying the truth
and staring deep into our mortality which
until now we've not wanted to accept.
In those flourishing days of our youth
we often felt as if we could outgrow
our skins, but now we feel as if we are
shrinking too far into aging, grey husks,
finally seeing how we're at the autumn
of our lives while it gathers around us
as brittle leaves swirling about a lamppost.