Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Fear of the Future

In the end one simply withdraws
From others and time, one's own time,
Becoming an imaginary Everyman
Inhabiting a few rooms, personifying 
The urge to tend one's garden,
A character of no strong attachments
Who made nothing happen, and to whom
Nothing ever actually happened—a fictitious
Man whose life was over from the start,
Like a diary or a daybook whose poems
And stories told the same story over
And over again, or no story. The pictures
And paintings hang crooked on the walls, 
The limbs beneath the sheets are frail and cold
And morning is an exercise in memory
Of a long failure, and of the years
Mirrored in the face of the immaculate
Child who can't believe he's old.

Credit


From Ninety-fifth Street. Copyright © 2009 by John Koethe. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Author


John Koethe

Born in 1945, John Koethe is the author of several collections of poetry, including Falling Water, which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Date Published: 2009-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fear-future