Fourty-Two

Within me lies the experience of four decades.
Born eight days before the moon landing,
I’ve seen dark depths and soaring heights.

I have made grave mistakes.
Made terrible mistakes and stood by them.
Corrected paths and played them out.

I’ve done things.
Know things.
Been places.
I’ve stood my ground.
I have loved.
Survived.

I have drank from secluded lakes.
Made the earth for my bed.
I defiantly stayed and weathered the storm.

I know my body and what it can do.
I’ve followed passions.
I’ve been the first on the dance floor and danced the night through.

I have published expansions of human knowledge.
Created works of clay that will survive millennia.
And twice birthed my legacy in flesh.

I grew with computers, the internet for a sibling.
Watched seminal bands play that have since flamed out of existence.
And slept in the alley for Grateful Dead tickets.

I have seen the unspeakable.
Seen things I can’t repeat.
Would not repeat.

I am fourty-two.

And I wouldn’t go back to

The tumultuous teens,
The wild and independent, musical-chair twenties (although I might visit),
The thirties in a chrysalis, transforming.

I am confident
unwavering
educated
experienced
steadfast
patient
focused
unruffled
serene

I have stories behind me and stories ahead of me.
I am no longer searching for the external.
I am at peace with myself.

I am fourty-two.

I’ve been weak enough to know my strengths.
I’ve been lonely enough to know the value of friendship.
The rarity of one who can express love truly.

I know what I thought I used to know.
And know enough to know what I don’t know.
And what is unknowable – by anyone or just by me.

That most things are grey.
My mind has improved as my body has changed.
Like a tree, only half of the story is visible to the casual observer.

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7 thoughts on “Fourty-Two

  1. Thanks so much. I’m truly touched. I started a “poetry” tag here so that these would be more easily found.

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  2. Thanks so much for the lovely comments. I wrote this as part of coming to peace with where I am in life, and realizing through writing it that where I am is pretty good.

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