22 Apr 2016 – At Sixty

Our fathers taught us:
shut yer mouth – and keep it shut –
and keep yor head down.

But we were children,
never having seen a world
of war as they had.

We had to question!
It was like our young hearts died
when we stopped singing.

Our doctors ask us:
When’s the last time you could hear
your own heart beating?

We stop – so startled –
staring back into his eyes,
we have no answer.

We stagger homeward,
dire warnings in our ears –
and this is mercy.

Our mothers told us:
don’t go marching in the rain
without your hat on.

Don’t be so foolish!
How can you go change the world
on empty stomachs?

You brought me flowers!
Such a precious, precious child
that God has given!

So now, at sixty,
both now gone to their rewards,
you sit, remember,

their voices mingle –
both of them were made for you
as for each other.

Cease childish sorting!
Drink them both and you will live –
they’re your elixir.