I've really missed this, times when the poems I write just flow with very little prompting. It's been a long dry spell so though it's late and some things got put on hold today, I just went with it.
I've never counted how many of my poems center around aging but I'm sure it would be quite a few. I guess the only explanation (if one is needed) is I've never been more aware of the process of aging before. It was merely another year older made up of many and varied highs and lows, family, plans, projects, activities and, of course, the anticipation of RETIREMENT. Why all caps? Because that was always the goal, unspecified time and more time in general. Oh, and that was the best part, TIME. I could do what I wanted to do and have oodles of hours with which to do it.
That last part is my favorite, oodles of time LOL. Yes, I said LOL. I'm hip, I know the lingo. And why did those oodles make me laugh? Because, surprise, you still run out of time! Why? Because everything takes longer to accomplish, you take longer so you don't get anymore done than you did when you were working. Ah, cruel fate, but true. Don't get me wrong, retirement is great, just different than I expected. If you're there, that is, retired, what I've said is no news to you but if you aren't there yet you still have all of this to look forward to.
So to make a long story...longer, the next few poems will most likely be about the time-worn subject of AGING. Tonight's offering is one of those poems that I merely began...what followed was a poem that took on a mind of it's own with two titles.
HOW MUCH SAND IS LEFT? or
The Power of a Smile
by Patty Lynn
Lest this come off as negative, a melancholy tale,
I must confess that more or less, it looks behind the veil...
Of that unspoken, often broken place some can't abide,
For aging brings for some a sting from which they run and hide.
This 'place' that I refer to, this broken place I mention
Is one that some won't talk about or even call attention...
To the truth we face each morning, yes, the face that's there before us
Especially the women folk who often sing in chorus:
"Those tiny lines and wrinkles are now longer, wider, deeper.
The lids above my eyes are such, they sag above my peepers...
So much so that I find that it's more difficult to see.
My laugh lines, why, they're craters now, where can the laughter be?"
You say you're not complaining but merely stating fact?
I'd say I've got some news for you, though lacking in some tact.
This all sounds superficial, on vanity you touch...
Forgo beauty's obsession and do not dwell so much...
On what you see as damage, are normal signs of aging.
No matter how you nip & tuck, time's war goes right on waging.
Your body needs your tending; make health your main concern.
Keep calories in balance with food that helps the burn.
For gravity it takes its toll on inner and on outer.
So if you're honest, face the facts, you're foolish if a doubter.
Some people age at different rates, some do look younger longer,
But lifestyle plays a part in it; it's not too late to ponder.
They say that you are only this, as old, dear, as you feel,
Which sounds real great when you feel good, but most days aren't ideal.
So heed my words, time marches on and you can choose to be...
An occupant of Sunny Town or suffer the disease...
Of negativity, that black contagion that is spread...
From one complainer to the next until life's joy is dead.
Who know how many days you have, how many grains of sand,
Till God decides to take you home, I hope you understand.
There's just no way for you to know when that day will arrive.
All you can do is make the choice to live each day, to strive...
To be the best that you can be, make all you do worthwhile...
And never underestimate the power of a smile.