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Ode to Middle Age

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I wrote this poem for my birthday. Hope you enjoy.

 

Ode to Middle Age

 

I don’t feel 44.

 

I don’t look it,

I think.

 

I mean yes,

Certainly

The crows feet creep out from the corners of my eyes

Lines arch across my brow

Cracked skin spans my chest

Veins rise on my hands–

Bearing witness to my years

on this planet.

 

But I am not somber

cynical

or resigned

 

As I imagined I might be

When I imagined me

at this age

When I was young.

 

I don’t have teenagers

But toddlers

Who make me chase them

carry 30 pounds under each arm

up three flights of stairs.

They make me feel

23.

 

I am in love

Giddy with glee

as I sleep

beside my sexy man

His breath warm in my ear

His arm wrapped snugly around my waist.

 

I delight in the harvest moon rising

Over a mountaintop

Shave ice with natural fruit flavor

Dancing the hokey pokey

Crying as I read children’s books

Or watch my sons show

Grandma their favorite toys.

 

I am wiser

Calmer

and more grounded

Than ever before.

 

I still have dreams to fulfill

Voyages to take

Parties to host and

Memories to make

 

Yet

 

I am utterly confident

I know myself

And my priorities are as clear as the turquoise sea

I gaze at every day from my lanai:

 

Family first.

My husband

My children

My parents and brother and

In-laws and cousins and nieces

And the dear old friends

who are my chosen family.

 

Love above all

Cherish and love.

 

I know I won’t

Live forever

I don’t want to.

Life is too sad anyway

its very passing

Is what makes it precious.

 

I want those who suffer

to know

that a brighter future

awaits them

on the Other Side.

 

I want to meet those

I have lost

and will lose

Again.

 

But here and now

is all I need

If it all ended today

This would be enough.

 

And so I give thanks

For the years that have crashed

to shore

relentlessly

unstoppable

Like these waves I watch

breaking against the

ocean wall.

For the rhythm

my life

has jingled and jangled out

on its celestial tambourine

 

I am humbled by the people

Who honor me

And the world around us

with their love.

 

I bow to the challenges

That have brought me here

The ones that have made my knees buckle

and fall to the floor

begging for mercy

Because they brought me

Closer to you

Closer to God.

 

I don’t know

When

Or where

This journey

Will end.

 

But I am,

For these remaining sacred days

And nights,

Filled with

Love

Joy

Compassion

Gratitude

and the longing

to be True.

 

 

 

 

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