Article in Arts / Literature / Poetry
On March 25, 2017, I turned 69, finishing my 69th year and beginning my 70th.
 
 
 

On Entering My 70th Year


Under SHOW ALL MEDIA please find a file of a recording of me reading my poem aloud.

My body covered with scars … you’d recoil.
I’ve been places, done things, you don’t want to know.
I’ve opened my eyes in darkness so deep
You’d scoff if I tried to color it in.

Others I’ve used, and by others been used,
Till the gold of the rule has lost its luster,
And I long ago quit believing life or love
Is anything but selfishness veneered

With layer after layer of hypocrisy,
Which, if you’re lucky, now and then you get
To strip off with someone else also willing
To be human, beside you, without shame,

Gently grieving the pains of belonging,
Which does not make up for the loneliness,
Even if it is luminous affection you feel
In your moments of overwhelming division.

You’ll judge me cynical, but the cynic
Is a spoiled idealist, sentimental
Beneath the scabrous, which I am not, I,
Who go measuring my three-score-and-ten,

Without resentment, but with calm of mind
Granted by knowing that I do not know
And by feeling that I can fold my hands
With peace amid the encroaching fury

Where the heckler snorts at my obscene age
And sneers that I have no longer got it.
I smile and I breathe: my roses I saw
At sunrise today — I looked and it was good.

 

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About the Author 

R Allen Shoaf
EROTIC RECKONINGS, my second volume of poetry, can now be purchased from New Plains Press or from Amazon. My third volume, PIED-PIPER PHILOL

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