Paeans - and Aches

over the years

Monday, June 04, 2007

Older — 4


You look at me and think
                Old man.
You don’t see the toddler
Gawping at a world
Where all was new.
                But he’s still there.
You don’t see the scruffy schoolboy
Making paper rockets
With pages stolen
From his General Science notebook.
                But he’s still there.
You don’t see the gawky lad;
Pimples and the first hint
Of a moustache and a voice that’s
Sometimes grown and
Sometimes not
And sometimes squawk.
Or the shiny young man
With his Work Clothes
And Work Bag and first paycheque.
Or the career man and his obsessions.
Or the new father, delirious with joy and terror.
Or the older father whose child
Has just shown him that he’s done his job well
By telling him he’s talking through his hat
                They’re all still there.
But you just see
                The bald scalp
                The crumbling face
                The stumble
                The stiffness.
You just see
                The old man
But it’s not your fault
That’s the way it is
And will be, until you are
                An old man.