T. S. B. (61)

If I am a temple, I’m tired enough
that the censers won’t light, broken enough
that the congregation fears a collapse,
soft enough that my gospels dissolve on delivery.

If I am a garden, I’m soft enough
to be tilled and planted, tired enough
not to care that it hurts, broken enough that
what is sown might not grow.

If I am a boat, I’m broken enough
to be an accidental submarine,
soft enough to sink slowly, tired enough
to lie on the welcome bottom until I’m gone.

Tired, soft, broken.
No one is supposed to wake up
this way — alive, awake, refreshed;
those are the preferred words.
Nonetheless, I use tired, soft,
and broken because this
is how I begin year 62.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

2 responses to “T. S. B. (61)

  • Eileen

    I wrote this at 53: Not nearly as well expressed as yours, but describes where I was pretty well. The Narrow Gate
    Possibilities collide with one another
    congesting into higgley-piggley log jams
    in my mind.
    Complexity clutters my understanding
    and confusions of cobwebs cling to my bold.
    broken dreams.
    Creativity thickens and congeals
    dwindling into small fallow pools clotted with
    frustration.
    Idols of old truths and securities
    slam against a wall of Thomas doubt
    and Judas disillusion.
    Now, a voice within gently warns me
    “Narrow Gate ahead! Do not fear it.
    Just let go.”
    Living in the present moment, I trust
    my inner spirit to transform even this
    suffering
    with her woman’s deep compassion
    making the desert of my empty heart
    fertile with her tears.

  • Eileen

    I can relate. Great descriptions. I felt that way in my fifties. My sixties were rich with energy and developing skills in things I wasn’t naturally good at.. At seventy-five I started blogging and did some stand up comedy. But health issues for me and my husband pretty much turned the last few years of my seventies into a constant challenge to just survive. Then the first two years as a widow were spent learning to be alone and to do things I’d never attempted and had no natural skills for. But Covid 19 came along and the last year at 83 has been one of my most productive and creative and I’m now much healthier than I’ve been since my forties. I also made progress in accepting that the hand I was dealt isn’t a Royal Flush. Then realizing it doesn’t matter, because all we are called or able to do is play the hand we were dealt the best we can.(However, That does involve recognizing and accepting that we might not be playing with a full deck! 🙂

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