When I grow old I won’t be old…

The Year 2000

When I grow up I will be old,
but little else will be different
I remember dreaming at night,
like running will still be easy
but maybe I won’t want to
run as much as I do now,
I don’t remember thinking
about choices or school,
having more or less money,
hair loss, getting fat, or sex;
and everyone would still be
alive but they wouldn’t and
I didn’t realize it back then,
there’d be sunny summer days
with baseball games and
watermelon but no mosquitoes
and bees would stay near the
flowers and leave me alone
while I ate hot dogs and
salty potato chips, and drink
fruit punch like it was beer,
and far off into the future
it might be scary to be me
like the year two thousand
when I’d be forty years old
if I ever lived that long.

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Keeping up with slowing down…

Grandpa always yelled
the same thing,
no matter what:
“Slow down!”
was his universal
call of caution,
for running or walking,
talking or eating,
skating or riding,
corners worried him
as did sidewalks,
aisles and open fields,
and I never asked why,
or even how
to “Slow down!”
as if it was possible;

I never heeded
his clarion call
because it was all
too exciting to wait,
too close not to reach for,
too far not to run to;
he was dragged along
as I tugged his hand,
calling my own “C’mon!”
to him over a shoulder,
urging him on,
to not hold us back,
and I always thought
I was living dangerously,
going much too fast
for my own good;

but maybe he was
just trying to keep up,
and his ‘Slow down!’
was a plea
so we could see it
together
or, at least, a prayer
to see it, do it, be there
at all
because his time
was running out
and he was just
trying to see what
was so exciting
it couldn’t wait,
and he needed my legs
to get to wherever
it was life was going.