BY JOHN GREY
Copyright is held by the author.
Could be the years I’ve lived,
the frayed shirt,
the feelings that never get old,
how for all the solitude I’ve experienced,
it’s never once seemed like desolation.
And what about dusk,
like the horizon’s trying on a red dress
and even the pallid grays
of the moment dark rolls in.
The wildlife, no question.
Even the bees that scrub down
and paint up the wildflowers.
I’ve spent days watching leaves turn brown,
then drift down from their branches
and float on water.
My teeth have proved worth holding onto
and so has my collection of well-worn hats.
Sure, I’m a little diminished here and there
but my ligaments, my tendons,
even my fibrous connective tissue
are doing well, thank you very much.
Gate’s always open.
Defects are merely repairs I never get to.
My radio only ever plays music.
No static. None of that loud brainless talk.
It might just be the calendar on the wall —
fifteen years old by this —
but such an engaging photograph
of a moose dining on marsh grass.
And the fact that every day is just like the one before
and the one before pleased me no end.
And let’s not forget my ongoing conversation with myself.
Never an ugly word spoken.
The breeze is cool and constant
like it feels part of my being.
And, though some summers the flies are bad,
they leave my peaches alone.
No part of me is obsessive.
There’s no undertow.
And yes, I was in love once.
but now it’s in a beautiful remission.
It’s humming instead of wheezing,
being necessary to myself
even if unwanted by everybody else.
I’m never scolded.
I don’t toss out a damn thing.
And I am saved
by good health,
by a sharp mind,
by an appreciation of all
that surrounds me,
but by grace
most of all.