the difference a year makes

We mark our march through time,
with the return now and again
to those same places
Where we look, again,
within, and without
peering to see what is different,
what is the same.

We were here a year ago
my mother newly gone;
chronicling sunsets and the
endless sssslissssh of waves and wind;
that same picture of the sun
setting through the wine glass on
the white white table.

Now I find myself that much further
on my march toward nothingness;
middle-age showing around my middle;
in gray hairs and papery skin
on the backs of my hands;
and my neck,
oh, my neck.

But what does it matter, really?
I’m nearly 50, after all,
as you are wont to remind me.
What possible jealousies or
regrets about what I did or didn’t know
or do
can matter anymore?

We’ll shuffle off, then, from middle age unto,
what? Old age? Not yet,
not quite yet.

But I’ll hold your hand if you’ll hold mine.
And nights without you will feel
no less desolate than they
ever have. And what I would have done
at 20, if I could only have known, then,
what I know now, well, we’ll just keep that
between us,
shall we?

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4 thoughts on “the difference a year makes

  1. There’s certainly a strong feeling coming through those pictures. Yes, Quieter Elephant, they put me in a pensive mood too. Not restive though. The words, on the other hand, do generate a tension in me…I don’t know what exactly I would have done differently at age 20 if I had my current knowledge, but I am 100% certain I would try to go down a different track…but from this end of life that consideration only leads to more regrets than I can deal with.

    • I don’t think there’s a person on the planet past the age of 35 who doesn’t think/know/believe that, if they knew then what they know now, they would have done something/lots of things/everything differently. I said to First Son once that I wanted him to live a life without regrets, and he replied something along the lines that that means he wouldn’t have tried anything, taken any chances, that that wasn’t, in fact, possible.

      I think he’s right.

      I think we should spend just enough time looking back to be aware of what we would like to do differently. . . tomorrow, or even later today. Otherwise you’re just punishing yourself, and who needs that?

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