Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lament

I was nineteen in 1988;
Vigorous? young? athletic? I suppose.
I'm almost forty now -- a sorry state;
The bloom (to coin a phrase) has left the rose.
The muse, like clement weather, comes and goes;
But mostly I drink, eat, read, sleep, complain:
And what the future holds, nobody knows --
One thing's for sure: I won't be young again.

And what is left for me to celebrate?
The cerebellum shrinks, the belly grows.
(Try running windsprints when you're overweight,
When years of health are drawing to a close.)
The heavy limbs that trudge through winter snows,
The graying hair that's soaked by summer rain,
The litany of ills and psychic woes --
One thing's for sure: I won't be young again.

The blunted wit that fails me in debate,
The memory recalling pangs and throes,
The mind conspires to humiliate
By what it blots out and by what it shows:
The weakening soul that seeks a sweet repose
Suffers from merciless recurring pain
Dealt by those thoughts which are its fiercest foes --
One thing's for sure: I won't be young again.

Virgin most venerable, Mystical Rose,
Through your most gracious prayers may I regain
Some strength, some hope; for time's great river flows --
One thing's for sure: I won't be young again.