Thursday, January 26, 2017

80

        Now that I've gone beyond the middle middle
I wrote at forty seven
feeling at last I'd got there,
maturity, I mean,
borne children
watched one barely survive death one winter weekend
fought with my husband and made up
wept and laughed, grieved and let go—
how long and young ago was that
Now that I've gone beyond the Bible's life span
been warned by the psalmist, dour as Ecclesiastes
that everything is bleak and dark
I rejoice in family, friends, flowers
dance at my granddaughter's wedding
weep at another marriage broken
laugh as we sit twelve at a table meant for eight
Now that I've twice (almost)
gone beyond the middle middle
I smile at statistics I could never comprehend
I see death's shadow stretch its barren trees
showing structure and surprising beauty,
promising that the journey does not end.
Perhaps now—forgetting fat maturity—
I'm ready to let go
into the questioning child
        who has always understood
that love is endless
numbers do not threaten
and Yes! Each day is a new challenge
a new birth.

~Madeleine L'Engle

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