Ossifight

Somehow, I got old
before really learning to be young
the old in my bones is calcified
the young in my soul is still growing

—Terri Guillemets

Real eyes

Now that I’m over the hill
I can see it’s just made of
skeletons of dead monsters
that were never really there.
But that past is no less high
and no less there, and I am
no less on the other side of it.

—Terri Guillemets

My heart sees all the better

my eyes can’t see as well anymore
but my heart sees all the better

my ears have begun to fail me
but I hear the quiet budding of success

I move more slowly now
but have learned to be still with myself

my aching body is stiff and sore
but my spirit has never felt so fine

my memory is slipping
but I’ve got a firm grip on what it is to live

my head is going gray
but I have found all my true colors

I get out of bed earlier
but still have plenty of dreams

I live more softly
but don’t back down from doing hard things

my teeth are getting artificially replaced
but my soul is real and all my own

my bones are brittle
but my resolve is strong

I no longer bounce back
but continue to look forward

I tell the same stories over and again
but become a new me every day

I’m nearer to the end
yet I have only just begun

—Terri Guillemets

Midlife midriff

Eating a lot of garbage and dessert-obsessive
for several months, I put on a few pounds
      — and more.

Waddling is hell, and fat is a problem for the heart
      — I’m hungry & in pain.

Waist weight is a cruel joke, and age is no help.

—Terri Guillemets

scrambled blackout poetry created from David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day, 2000, pages 136–139

Ode to middle age

How like a lovely autumn morning,
      serene middle age —
a sanctuary of mind, a chapel;
the age of faith on a deep foundation,
      and the age of reason;
silver fellowships, libraries and deep reflection,
wine, liberty, a milder manifestation of the soul;
brilliance upon our lips, more profound, subtle;
the rich flame of the good life, how sweet —
      listening to the murmur of change

—Terri Guillemets

blackout poetry created from Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, 1929, Grafton paperback, 1977, pages 11–16