There Are Good Things About Being Forty

Music: Fugue in D minor.
By Dimitri Shostakovich. Sequenced by J. Marques

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Copyright by
Nicholas Gordon

There are good things about being forty:
Still young and attractive, still
Free to try again,
Knowing what we know now.

Not so bad being forty:
Not old and sick, not
Dying, but still
Close enough to understand.

Having grown children,
Watching parents die,
Looking equally ahead and behind,
Knowing failure, inner weakness, disappointment,
Knowing bitterly our limitations,
Knowing death's bitter beauty,
Watching the black sun rise with the night;
No longer naive, not yet wise,
No longer stirred by hope, not yet at peace,
And still

One would think by now we would be settled,
But no.
We are alone, restless, still
Like children,
Even knowing what we know now.

It's OK, being forty:
Still a child,
Always children,
Lying equally in the arms of life and death,
Knowing beauty and terror,
Peace and agitation,
Mother and daughter,
Father and son,
Giver and needer--

Hold me to your heart,
Be still.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.

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