ON TURNING SEVENTY
I thought forty was the end of youth.
I thought fifty was aged, that’s the truth.
I thought sixty meant I was an oldster.
Now, at seventy, I want to bolster up
A cup that is far more than half full.
I hope I am still on an uphill pull
Over the hill I once denied existed
That no longer can be ignored or resisted.
I am there, it’s obvious, a senior.
Not a high school senior. I did that.
I wore the gown and the mortarboard hat
And walked with my classmates
My peers, to the cheers of family
And of friends, thinking this is childhood’s end
Only to begin beginning all over again.
For those who are older, or almost as old
I don’t mean this to sound cold
But I never thought I would get here.
To my seventieth year.
I smoked dope and boozed
And let my body be used by strangers
Quitting when I saw the dangers
But I was in my forties then
As I saw the eighties begin
And it scared me to the bone.
I chose to be alone with Ron Bacardi
And hold my own party for a decade
That left me afraid I would die
So I gave sobriety a try
And here I am over a quarter century later
Still saying “Seeya later, alligator.”
Some might think, “Listen here
To this tired queer bragging!”
But it can’t be called boasting
When abs are sagging
And the eyes need cheaters
And I need to eat egg beaters
Because the yolks are no joke
For someone whose cholesterol
Is nothing to crow about at all.
It can be funny, but it’s true
There are all kinds of things I can’t do
Like the more lively dancing.
And stairs. Oh, yeah, I fall up stairs.
But, I am going somewhere with this.
I am offering a kiss and a hug
Because since I got off drugs
I am much more aware of friends
And can tell where love begins
So, now I know a kind of peace
That comes from releasing bad
And collecting good to me.
If that is braggery, sue me.
What I do know is freedom came
And it changed the game.
I met the love of my life
And while neither of us is a wife
We are married now quite happily
For just about a quarter of a century
And soon will make it official;
Legally legal. Thus, I am proud
To say to you without levity
That I am content to be seventy.