50

That five a.m. alarm heralds the day
And instantly, years magically compress
into one or two dormant photo albums
of road trips that now sit,
waiting to be dusted while children
grow up, buy cars, leave home, and
forget that not too long ago you wiped their
noses, taught them to count pennies, then
nickels and dimes–and when they understood
quarters, you were almost home free because
mastering fractions is a sign of some budding maturity.
And then, thoughts of young adulthood, the adventurous life-
the life that still resides in your brain despite
the onset of wrinkles and forgetfulness–
seems to call out like a nostalgic siren’s song–
teasing the now “mature” self into thinking
fifty is really twenty with a little more money
and a greater sense of self.
And then the clock hits midnight and
the year begins, and nothing
really changes because everything
already has.

And it will happen to you
if it hasn’t already, so be glad
for the goodness,
sing songs of the days
when friends filled the hallways                                                                                at odd hours of the night,
when responsibility meant
doing your homework, feeding your dog,
and washing your sheets
more often than once
a semester.  (…. gotcha 😛 ).

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