Young and Old

Photo: Karen Arnold, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

I started this poem Sunday, before snow fell upon the daffodils of today’s haiku. But even a foolish hope is better than none. I have this notion that wisdom is more for the brain, whereas the heart is given to folly. And that’s a good thing.

Young and Old

My father, when he was dying of cancer at 67,
(younger than I am now), confided this to me:
“I’ve never felt older than nineteen in my heart.”

It explains a lot, like how I too never feel quite
grown up. And my uncles were just the same: men
in body and chassis, boyish beneath the hood.

My heart was older when I was younger though,
laden with worry and drink. Each sober year since
has lightened it up, grown it a little younger.

It’s good, I think now, for the heart to be a little stupid. 
A soft breeze blows; daffodils bloom this Sunday, and
I cherish a foolish hope that winter is done at last.

I may never make it back around to nineteen,
but that’s okay; my teen years were not my best —
except, of course, for taking up this life with you.

Were hearts not a little stupid, how could we have lasted?

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1 Response to Young and Old

  1. Paul Davison says:

    Very Beautiful!! I will never forget seeing Richie Havens in concert. and at one point he is telling a story, and in it he says, “We always stay the same age (mentally/in our hearts), as the age we left home at.” For me, that is one of the truest things that I have ever heard.

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