Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Two score (A poem)

so when I was ten, I thought that by the time I was forty
I would have done deeds of greatness, and changed the world
(also that I would be old and heading for the checkout, so to speak).

by the time I was twenty the grand visions were a bit faded, but I was still looking
down the barrel of a brilliant (and sequential) career, I thought.
by forty, I'd be a established, successful, something-or-other.
(and still old, although not quite as close to death as I'd once supposed).

I don't remember a great deal about thirty that doesn't involve nappies,
leaky boobs, tears, snuggles and being dragged under by a king tide of love and hormones
in fact, that might as well go for the five years that followed as well;
my brood mare years, if you like.
If I thought about forty at all, and I don't recollect that I did,
I expect I thought of it as a distant beach, somewhere beyond the ocean of babies
where a person might scramble ashore, with books, a job of some sort, and a quiet half hour or two
to reflect and recover.
(and be old. be very, very old).

and now, ask not for whom the bell tolls
as I wake on my fortieth birthday, very much as I did yesterday
when I was thirty-nine and still technically young-to-middlin'.

standing at the likely midpoint of my life, I have no grand observations to make, but this -
turns out, you're not on the way out the door at forty!
luckily, not being Paleolithic, and possessing lives neither nasty, brutish, nor short
we don't live just long enough to pass on our genes, then peg out
(at least most of us don't).

so I think that I might take my shot at doing something, in the next forty years
being a something-or-other, whatever that turns out to be
being part of the lives of the children I birthed, and raise in love
writing, because why not? why shouldn't I, if I want to?
poems and stories and blog and what-have-you
writing on the world I walk, naming it,
for the next forty years
(until I am old, and tired, and full of sleep)

now that I am forty, and ready
to not care about being old anymore
but just to revel in being here at all.

- Kathy, 19/6/13 (Yes, it is my 40th birthday today)

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