"Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought." Emily Dickinson
Edward Fields read his poem Envoi on Prairie Home Companion last night. I don't know that I always manage to maintain his perspective. Maybe when I reach eighty-something
At 87, it’s hard to believe,
but I simply have no complaints.
I’m a pretty healthy old fellow.
Of course, I’m a New Yorker,
and we reel off our symptoms
to anyone who will listen.
So I listen, and cluck in sympathy,
unable to add to the stewpot of misery
with my nothing aches and pains.
What’s to complain about?
I have a great apartment,
with a tree embracing it.
I live with someone I worship.
Looking at him — after fifty years –
still makes me smile.
I go on writing my poems,
and even get attention from my fans.
And money? I have none — well, okay,
the monthly government handout
that pays the bills.
I have enough of my mind left
to know how lucky I am.
I could even solve the world’s problems,
if only they’d ask me.
Or if they’d read my poems.
And with all that to celebrate,
my dick and I are still talking,
or rather, jousting.
Even at the alarming age of 87,
and even if it all goes downhill from here,
as it must, eventually or tomorrow
— meanwhile – facing the inevitable,
I’m the man with everything.