by Willard Roger Carlisle


I hate telling people I am retired,
provoking mirrors with my falling wrinkles.
I still feel 30,
young and innocent in my seeking,
wise and ignorant.

I seem to be failing faster,
more easily reborn ,more
connected to my dreams.
I quit going to parties where they only
talk football and stocks.

Listening to the clang of the kids playing
basketball next door reminds me of when I scored 32.
Their mother ,a believer ,would like to throw me
into a dustbin of lost souls.
Erase the threat of old age.

The ball bounces less and less. It's
a fickle thing serving youth and fame.
Movement makes it sing,
and I am selling less of that.

My Nikes don't fit anymore,
too narrow for my widening cold feet ,fallen arches.
Old shorts squeeze my waist, reminding me
I am a governor of smaller and smaller kingdoms,
exchanging desire for sacred memories.

I'm still on a pilgrimage to somewhere,
an old shoe creased by years living on the edge,
tougher than time, walking proud in a deepening groove
of an old familiar song,
enjoying rebirth in my seventh decade.

I see resurrection in every stone ,
grace in a wave of hot air,
fall asleep in my soup,
so joyful in my blindness,
forgetting how the story ends.

Roger Carlisle

I am a retired physician who loves poetry. I write lyrical and narrative poetry, about relationships, marriage, consciousness of the Self.

Last updated January 15, 2017