Poem: Turning Sixty Three


Turning Sixty Three


A dollop of light.
A flash of red velvet.

A stairway to the attic,
too full already.
There is a need to empty.
to create more space,

to make choices
and let go the useless, realizing
there is more of it than you imagined.


A dollop of light
A flash of red velvet
and skin.

Coffee in the morning,
no longer alone
with your differences and demons.

You dance more.
You laugh more.
There is more to anticipate.

and as your hairs turn gray
you are finally learning
to trust love again.


Your children have become themselves.
You talk to them in their far away places
and rejoice in the people they have become,

grateful for the part you were blessed to play.
Grateful the work is largely done
and you have not done what you feared most the day they were born.

Perfect, you declared as they arrived.
“now my job is simple:
not to ruin them.”


Your eyesight has become new,
more able to see
evil and angels, less able

to be willfully blind.

It is a blessing and a curse and a wonderment
that at an age where you were sure you would feel settled
you are restless, more angry and more loving

than you thought possible.

It is not a comfortable thing,
People have become too valuable
to live in this world that diminishes them

if there are not enough zeros in their checkbook.

God is at work,
and you squirm as his petard prods at you
and does not let you sleep.


There is new music in your life.
And your old bones feel God more closely.
Newly yoked, you feel new muscles growing

under the ties that bind.
Are you Samson at the beginning, middle or end?

You do not know.

But you do know this:
There are journeys ahead. Adventures,
and like wily Odysseus

you are enough.
Even old as you are you are driven
by love and hunger,

saved from stagnation,
you pull on your battle-scarred armor,
armed with light and velvet,

you walk into the darkness.

About this poem

I turn 63 tomorrow.

The picture was taken in the attic of my church.


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