At Midlife I See That …

A Poem – At Midlife I See by joanvinallcox

Courage at eighty is different from at twenty
But both ages carry their future constantly –
A fearsome thrust into an unmapped wilderness.

A fearsome thrust carrying life forward blindly
At eighty requires enough love to endure
Despite loss, and endure because of loss to come,
And endure because of the sweetness still here, if
Courage persists. And, despite (because?) the compass pointing
Through the wilderness to the edge of the map,

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Consciousness and Aging

It made me think of Phyllis Gotlieb’s Death’s Head

at 3 a.m. I run my tongue
around my teeth (take in a breath)
(give out a breath) take one more step
approaching death. my teeth are firm
and hard and white (take in a breath)
incisors bite and molars grind
(give out a breath) the body lying
next to mine is sweet and warm
I’ve heard that worms (take in a breath)
don’t really eat (give out a breath)
the coffin meat of human kind
and if they did I wouldn’t mind
that’s what I heard (take in a breath)
(and just in time) I think it’s all
a pack of lies.

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