at my age, let me tell you,
dazed, confused, in pain
without the protective guise of pride or pity
one minute my face, hot as the stranger living
round the corner on Friday evenings
the next, about as cold as their heavy-hand hearts
this ol' mind races its hundred laps round the front yard
I know you’ve seen videos rewinding
No wham. No bam. Not even a "Thank you, Mom!"
some things will never end but they
eventually do. . . .
--sometimes the tape even breaks with tension--
so I take to mopping the kitchen floor
putting new wallpaper over the yellow
replanting barren spots in a neighbor’s yard with more hosta
--more than absolutely necessary--
replacing ceramic tile in the guest bathroom,
not once but twice
trying to keep the trains running in the time
it takes me to wipe of my eyes….
rock myself on the front porch,
Measure my wait in sips of elderberry wine
Ilose the battle against a feverish forty winks, again
but I promise me this and more:
this birthday is going to be different.
the clock will strike twelve
--take mental note,
reminding me of promises made more than once before--
and I’ll call it
and maybe, just maybe, then I can toe that line
only children know how to draw