Poem: At This Age

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At This Age

At this age, I still surprise myself.
I still have things to figure out.
I have become proud of my flaws.
I see them as symbols of a fallen survivor
who gets up every time.

At this age, I care far less about what you think.
I know what I am and who I am
and I can list my flaws and failures far more precisely
than you.
But at this age, I also understand grace and forgiveness
far better than I did when I was theoretically younger.

At this age, I am glad for my roots,
but far less bound by them.

At this age I love the people I love
and have no need to explain or prove it.
I have learned people will see what they see,
say what they will say, and I have very little to do
with any of it.

At this age, there are some things that don’t work as well.
Most of them have to do with my body. My mind and soul,
at this age, work better than they ever have.

At this age, I am far more comfortable
with not knowing. I’ve learned that much of what I knew,
what I was told, what was shown and declared
were lies anyway. Mostly unnecessary.
I listen. I look. And if I never understand,
that’s OK. If it changes, that’s OK.

I adapt.

Far better than I thought I could, I adapt. And it took
getting to this age to grow comfortable, to feel safe
in a world that is anything but.
I will be hurt.
I will be angry.
I will be confused.
I will survive
and the few who love as I love will stay with me.
The rest will leave, sooner or later.

At this age, I can see death.
I don’t understand him either,
but I can see him.
He has danced around me enough in my life
that he is more a mysterious actor than
some fearful specter. He holds more light
than he likes to admit.

At this age, the gratitude is overwhelming.
I have done without so many things
so many times
that all I have, all the love, all the people and places
and things seem a treasure. I am rich beyond
my understanding.

At this age, I celebrate more than makes sense.
A sip of coffee. A cat on my lap. The skin
of the woman I love sleeping next to me.

At this age, I become officially old,
even if I feel strangely younger,

There is no explaining it.
and that is OK.
I am accustomed to a lack of understanding
and it has not killed me yet.

About this poem. 

I turn 65 Friday. Yeah, I think about it.

Tom

One comment

  1. This one is a keeper. –Sent from Yandex.Mail for mobile20.07.2020, 12:03, "Quarry House" <comment-reply@wordpress.com>:

    Tom Atkins posted: "

    At This Age

    At this age, I still surprise myself. I still have things to figure out. I have become proud of my flaws. I see them as symbols of a fallen survivor who gets up every time.

    At this age, I care far less about what you think. I know what I a"

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