I Don't Like the Way
You Say Older

Now that I'm sixty, I'm not getting
older as if it is an accelerated stage
of wearing out my life like a coat worn
threadbare. I'm just changing as I've
always changed, one second, one week,
one year to the next. Each cell, each
synapse, each peptide of body and brain
evolves. Motion inside the parts of me,
I've learned, is the only steady state.

Different than I was yesterday, different
than I will be tomorrow and in that way
just the same. Your facile inferences
about the abrasiveness of time are like
relying on a clock that skips the best hours.
By actual measure my blood pumps through
me more easily than it did last week. My
keel, well planned, with the edge of failures
slices more smoothly through the surges.

So sit there and see if you can see me
withering like a tree, while I'll be
reading about my new parabolic skis
for tomorrow's trip. Granted, some day
I'll exist only as a memory in someone
else's mind, just like one day I was only
a hope of other people. Meanwhile, I feel
myself carving bright plumes of snow the
day after tomorrow as if it were today.

Doug Arnold