The Facts of Growing older—no Second Lives

Yesterday, you and I got together
Making our table intimate
With a grooved, long history
Two well groomed, healthy
Vivacious women chatting
Over glasses of Spanish red
Paired with ridiculously
Rich dates wrapped in bacon.

I smiled at the way you
Lit up when
You told me about an
Upcoming poetry/photography
Collaboration—how interesting—
How happy I can be for you
Feeling stronger inside

Away from setting out
Tea things over a blanket
For the kids sitting under the shade
To escape the eternity of
Summer’s unstructured time and heat
While sipping and chatting until…
Oh no, my Boy, younger and
A bit bored for being out of place
With the girls,
Breaks an heirloom cup
From Grandmother’s set.

Early 30s, staying at home,
That was us,
Our kids, our world.
I happen to have loved that time.
Deep underpinnings spanning
Parenting redone
From what I had known
And experienced,
Possibilities recast to
Cultivate more balanced
And positive relationships
Between parents and children—
Life passion of giving
These young people
Every good quality day I could,

Those days, however tinged
With frustrating,
Real world disappointment
And adult loneliness
As they were,
Comprised many of life’s
Most golden hours.

All eras end.
They just do.
Children grow up…

We got a little burned out,
Stretched too thin along the way
Being certain people
For everyone else
And began to want to wear
Different, more form fitting,
Individualized outfits—
Sequins and feathers now—
Versus oversized T-shirts
And baggy sweatpants from
Old Navy’s clearance rack.

Mid 40s,
We take these other steps,
One by one, out into
A world of becoming our Whole,
Best selves now that
The kids are older—
Living far from home, driving,
Though the younger ones
Are still with us both and
Also deserve our attention—
A surprisingly easy reality
To slip and forget…

Now more than ever,
Alternative interests
And purposes lap across
Aching desire forming
Tendrils of action—
For me, writing regularly,
Diving into more public work roles,
Learning the ins and outs of
An unexpected new profession
That I gain increasing skill
And insight on how to excel,
Honing personal verbal expression,
Running longer distance races,
And other goal setting
Thrown in the mix.

For you, some of the same
In varied forms-
Being selected to have
Work displayed in art exhibits,
Achieving a certain degree of acclaim
And name for yourself, and more.

Here we sit
Basking in middle aged vibrancy
At an infant pivot point between
Undoing tracted fact
By grasping by the horns
A choose your own adventure
Or, remaining encased in comfort
The beauty of the known
By staying quite put.



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