Refusing at Fifty-Two to Write Sonnets
It came to him that he could nearly count How many Octobers he had left to him In increments of ten or, say, eleven Thus: sixty-three, seventy-four, eighty-five. He couldn't see himself at ninety-six— Humanity's advances notwithstanding In health-care, self-help, or new-age regimens— What with his habits and family history, The end he thought is nearer than you think. The future, thus confined to its contingencies, The present moment opens like a gift: The balding month, the grey week, the blue morning, The hour's routine, the minute's passing glance— All seem like godsends now. And what to make of this? At the end the word that comes to him is Thanks.
From Walking Papers. Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Lynch. Used with permission of W. W. Norton & Company.