Don’t Get Old

Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)

For my friend Bob McGuinn

Be careful of growing old, he tells me.
It happens so suddenly over the years.
One day you are young, in love, full of energy
the next day you are old, loveless, lacking
both muscle mass and strength.
The legs are the first to go, he continues,
but from my experience it’s the knees.
Such fragile joints carrying the burden
of weight and years of touch football, and
bicycling thousands of miles to see the world.
The legs struggle to climb steep mountain trails
stressing the knees on the downward slide.

He slowly gets up in his walker tricked out with
ballbearing wheels up front, tennis balls in the rear
and makes his way to the stove, the boiling water and
pours two cups of tea and adds a shot of brandy.
You know, he continues, even in my present state
life is still pretty amazing but getting old is the shits.
Don’t get old, he tells me once again as if offering
some sage wisdom or a commandment from god.
I ponder his words as he sits back down in his rocker
balancing his cup, careful not to spill a drop.
In between sips of the brandy tea and honey,
I finally say, the only alternative is to die young.

He smiles…