Daily Archives: August 19, 2021

Coda: An Old Poet Shuts The Door

I have far less time ahead of me
than behind me. Such a relief. 

I don’t need to mess up 
whatever time I have left
trying to pretend I care much about
new birth and evolution.

I’ve seen enough of both
to understand that they lead,
inevitably, to people like me.

You call me out and call me old
and set in my ways and
part of the problem and —

listen: you don’t live in here yet,
and I hope you won’t for a while.

You can’t understand 
all the new things
I’m already learning
against my will, so step back

and let me go on in my choice
of armor. Poor as it is, 
thin and already pierced as it is,
it’s how I manage my terror
of inevitable forgetting
and accelerating decay.

Put simply: when I am wearing this
I don’t care about you being on my lawn.
Stay there. Camp there.
Enjoy it or tear it up
and plant figs or whatever; you choose.

But don’t think for a minute
about trying to enter my house. In here
there’s not much danger from me, true,
but there’s plenty to fear
and I can assure you
it’s nothing
you are ready to see.