Elderhood

Are We Old?

(Context - two gray guys on a park bench)


Are we old? I really can’t tell.
Young folks treat me as a man
Of far too many years,
Opening doors, calling me “sir”, always agreeing.


I suppose I might be old, but that doesn’t seem true.
No, it just doesn’t seem true, when I think about it.


OK, I admit that my back has problems,
And I don’t hear so well,
And I’m developing this little bald spot,
And I forget a lot more than I did some time ago,
And my eyes aren’t the same,
And making love takes a few more tries than before.


Well ... on the making love thing,
I can still get it up, usually,
Well ... fairly often ... sometimes.
And maybe it stays up, and that's good ...
Well, when it does.


But what matter is all that?
I mean, are we old? Really?
No? ... Ah, that’s right!
I thought not!


Tim Beckham
April 24, 2015

I Am Old

I know it; I try to hide it, but I know it.
I work out to get young again, to be strong,
And it seems to work for awhile,
But I am old, and the years catch up,
A little back pain here;
Maybe a pelvis problem there,
Some forgotten names,
Some scary impotence,
And a lot of regret.


Maybe the worst part of age is regret.
I have heard people say, in these gray years,
That they have none.
I do not believe them,
Not for a minute.
I know regret, and it lunges out from nowhere,
From everywhere,
Drowning out all good feelings,
Wrapping me in waves of cresting, churning fear.


Regret and age; one and the same.


Tim Beckham

I Am Really Old

I am really old,
Goddammit!
I have lived the boy scout life,
All for easing through, for being seen as who
I really am not.


I really am not who you see, you know.
I am this old guy, and I am 12 years old,
Or 20, or 5, or 105.


Who am I?
Isn't it time I found out?
When do you get to be who you are?
There, out there, where the world is?


I cannot wait, can I?
Because that final breath is just waiting,
For that moment of escape,
When the goal is reached, and eyes close,
And who we really are is finally there.


Tim Beckham