The day 21 prompt at Poetic Asides is a “double Tuesday” prompt–write a “what you are” poem, write a “what you are not” poem. So, I could write about either one or both at the same time. I kind of like the challenge of attempting both in one poem. Please note I’m not quite 61 yet, but mentally I’ve already moved myself forward to the next year anyhow:
I’M OLD/I’M NOT OLD
Every night in the wee hours
I wake up to the thought, “My God,
I’m 61 years old.” The cramps in my knees
and shoulders verify this, and the crabby
bladder that can’t get through the night.
Energy is sluggish in daylight,
but I’m wide awake at 3 a.m. This
is aging, I think glumly, turning the pillow
for the twentieth time.
When I wake up to that thought, though,
to that “I’m 61!” mental shout,
I also think, “That can’t be
possible.” Inside I’m still twelve,
although I no longer fear thunderstorms
or the random phantom face at the window.
I’m more cognizant of the world, but I react
to things as I have since girlhood; rather,
the ageless me is consistent, my negative
spaces as dark as ever,
my positive spaces bright and revitalizing
beside the darkness. I may grunt
and my back complain when I bend over
to pick a violet, but I still can’t resist
that violet. The internal conquers
the external, and I’ll pick
all the violets I want.