12 Aug 2016 – On Gratitude for Growing Old

Sitting in a shopping mall,
there by the food court,
laughing groups of teenage girls
pass by you, slowly,
summoning your oldest scar –
four decades dormant.

They still dress them to entice,
though won’t admit it,
copying the older girls
who know exactly
what will turn a young man’s head –
a well-honed weapon.

Knuckles white, the table’s edge
won’t let you totter.
Every sense alive again
as if a cactus
waiting on the desert rain.
You hear them talking….

That was something you knew once,
had since forgotten.
Teenage talk can only charm
another youngster.
You suppress a shutter, gasp,
thank God for women

grownup, your age, maybe not
so great to look at
as an unripe piece of fruit –
but you’re not, either.
Now you’ve had a taste of that,
who wants the raw stuff?