December 7, 2014

Edward Fields on Aging

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

ENVOI

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.