I swing my legs from the swaying dock
Forgotten every one of my dwindling flock
I lay in fields of golden, wet, honey wheat
Drink down dew from low, golden clouds I meet
I run in those hidden dark, green trees
Places I learned to be what I please
Ravines littered with softly-fallen sins
Redeemed by desire, baptized by might-have-beens
Hay dangles through cracks and creaky joists
I break pains and panes with the ghosts of your voice
Pains of the past
Panes of glass
I fly kites with the ribs of those rotting, white windows
Catch hope with faith and sinewy minnows
Display truth and let it cool on open-sashed sills
Smoke the winnows and billows of dogged wills
Clear to the rafters of this old barn
And to the ragged fence posts on Used-to-be Farm
I love you.
Slow down, you move too fast.
I met a gentleman this morning with the most lovely accent. From Virginia. He was 88. I could listen to him talk all day.
I knew moving into this driving job, I would meet interesting people. Aromatic people, talkative people, desperately lonely people. But I had no idea I would meet magical people.
“I just need to stay alive and keep a house going.”
That was his mantra all morning long.
Two things to keep in mind when you’re 88:
- Stay alive! (very important)
- Keep a place going (also very important)
Survival and shelter. Can’t argue with that.
I carried him to Winn-Dixie to get some groceries. From here on known as grosh. As I helped him out of the car and into the store, he kept reciting things he would be doing. He was full of helpful tips and practical suggestions. To everything he stated, to affirm I was listening, I replied, “Smart.” and “Good idea.”
He would reply, in the most charming Southern drawl, “Smart?! Only way to go as I see it.”
I love you, sir. Let me help you with your grosh.
Two things to keep in mind when you’re 44 (exactly half his age, that would be my age):
- Stay alive
- Keep a place going
Got it. Smart. Only way to go as I see it.
I catch my reflection
In the shiny laptop screen.
I threw away the girl I was
In being just a teen.
Skin gone slack.
Life off track.
Stark and dark.
But the eyes.
She’s still there.
The care and thought of
My singe-tinged stare.
And my smile.
In spite of all
The bridges I’ve burned.
You can’t stop the fire
And stomp in the ashes.
When you’re the one
Playing with matches.
Burnt to the ground,
My youth is gone.
Rising from what remains
Is the sun on the dawn.
And with it my verve.
But age brings wisdom
And strong-willed nerve.
Do I have enough guts
To follow a dream?
When life is pulling
Apart at the seam.
So what if my chin
Is sagging a bit?
It’s not a question of beauty
But taking a hit.
Is that jaw strong?
Enough for a blow?
Sticking my neck out–
The only way to know.
So. I’m older. But bolder.
And I’ll just say thank you.
Age is a privelege
Achieved by so few.