Saturday, April 7, 2018

PAD Day 7: Not Quite the Pinnacle

Today's dual prompts from Poetic Asides is to write a poem using one or all of the senses. NaPoWriMo's prompt is again, a little more involved: Make a list of "all your different layers of identity, such as husband, father, liberal, football fan, cancer survivor, writer, handyman, etc. "Now divide all of those things into lists of what makes you feel powerful and what makes you feel vulnerable. Now write a poem in which one of the identities from the first list contends or talks with an identity from the second list."  My poem here responds more to the second prompt than to the first, I think, so maybe later I'll try one that focuses more on the senses. Anyway, here's a little dialog with myself.

Not Quite the Pinnacle

I've reached that mountaintop
where I can rest on the ledge
and look down the slope
on all I've done in this life
and plant a flag that says,
"Retiree" and another
that says, "Senior".
There's still much to do
as a husband, as a grandfather,
a poet, traveler, music lover,
and many puzzles still to solve.

Ah, but look at you -
flabby, gray and balding.
Every day is a different nagging ache;
what you see is duller and blurrier,
and there's a ringing in your ears.
Your bladder is weak, and your heart
may have a fatal flaw.
You forget simple things,
and fatigue is a frequent companion.
What's more, it's chilly on that mountain -
the wind whips around your flimsy coat,
and the oxygen is rare.
You still haven't reached the pinnacle,
and perhaps you never will.

Spare me your disparagement!
There's still plenty of me left.
I'll write a few more books,
take a river cruise, keep company
with my college sweetheart
(still feeling that young when I kiss her),
cheer my Phillies to another title,
and God willing, see my grandkids
go to college and get married.
There's a reason that wise old men
populate mountaintops.
So come up and get some wisdom,
but you'll have to work to catch me -
I'm not done climbing yet.

1 comment: said...

Love it. You speak for legions!!!!