Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Poem for Age 40

40 is the new 38

I pause today at 40 to look forward and look back.
I’m not upset with 40. It’s a mathematic fact.
I’ve shed some pale illusions, and I’m trying to slow down.
I’ve put down roots for me and mine in a stout, three-rivered town.
I’m married to the woman I have loved since eighteen years of age.
Forty minus eighteen equals twenty two years with Paige.
My skin has spots like some big cat’s, but I lack a leopard’s fierceness.
Said skin’s unmarred by tattoo ink, intact with zero piercings.
My back acts up, and my knees are sore, especially after hoops night.
By now I know
my second toe
nail will never look right.
I take three pills each morning and another few at night.
I’ve come to fear that my next beard will grow in gray and white.
There’s less hair on my head than there used to be and more on my ears than I care for.
I find I’m too often in some room with no idea what I went there for.
We’re closer today to my younger son’s college commencement than mine.
It’s hard not to take a certain offense at the lightning passage of time.
My twin brother’s better looking, but at this point, I’m stronger.
That makes sense; he’s been forty six whole minutes longer.
I’m raising two young patriots of whom I’m duly proud.
I wonder in the mornings if all patriots are so loud.
Despite eating better and working out lately
I can't seem to get and stay below one eighty.
I sweat from the scalp when I eat something spicy
I stay in at night when the roads are too icy.
High school students look really young;
that’s something that age forty has done.
I’ve lived through eight presidents.
I own my own residence.
No man is a failure who has friends.
I hope making new ones never ends. 

(Gasp. Panting. Out of breath.)

I wouldn't trade my life today for any day that came before.
I'm poised and ready to take on what my forties have in store.


Anne H. said...

Well done Jeff. Being happy with who and where you are iswhat we all long for.

Lauren Jackson said...

I think writing a poem for your 40th was a brilliant idea.