|Before the fall...|
Ages I Have Been
I feel it all, when I recall
The details, where and when;
The rise and fall, the short and tall,
Of ages I have been.
It's strange, but true, that my world view,
Began down near the floor.
As children do, I upward grew,
And waited to see more.
Until a night of pain and fright,
Brought knowledge, dark and fey;
When painful plight brought raw insight,
And childhood fled away.
Through youngling years, whose loves and fears,
Left me nowhere to hide,
I lived, sans tears, among my peers,
An old man trapped inside.
I strove, meanwhile, an old man's smile,
To hide beneath veneers.
Mile after mile, the long trial,
Filled intervening years.
Now deep within, the verdict's in:
I cannot disavow
Without chagrin, I've always been,
The age that I am now.
Many years ago, I asked my mother if I was a serious child. "Serious?" she said, "You were positively grim. You were born an old man." She was almost right. It required a terrible accident at age 1 1/2 years to turn a teeny toddler into a tiny gaffer. Suddenly upgraded from naiveté to reality, I became the grim nipper. Guess I haven't changed, much...
The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.
-Madeleine L'Engle, writer (1918-2007)