Wild Years

We think about the wild years,
and the sleeping men,
as if they were other, opposite,
when instead they are not a circle,
but a man’s line and all of a part,

Those who sleep now or sit gently,
also killed time without a thought
and looked down and across
at the older ones once without recognizing
all they had done differently was start out

It is true that the best parts of any day now
are the coffee in the first hour
and the tea as the last unwinds,
uppers and downers indeed as before,
but taken in portions that leave me still

It was hard to get here, an accident almost
to come blindly across the hill,
and I am amazed at how many others
inevitably also arrived before and beside me;
those younger will also douse themselves, but the fire

My young friend at ten sees no irony
in using an old copy (hardback of course)
of Faulkner’s two books
‘The Sound and The Fury’ and ‘As I Lay Dying’
as an impromptu mousepad,
for me they are volumes and speak volumes
that describe us both almost



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