On Turning Thirty

The thought pursues me down my childhood streets
where every winter is colder than the last
and where a single car horn gores the ear
out of its desperate escape from things.
The lanterns flick upon a weird collage
Of life en l'an trentiesme de mon age

So soon come thirty years of restlessness,
of boredom, pain, frustration and surprise
quick as a downtown snowfall. Quickening wind
has buffeted me about in all my bluster.
A time shall come when time is gone. I have
Strained for the hands of loved ones and been torn
Through nations, made my old haunts of the strange,
a stranger in the strained land of my berth
now ripped by its own talons till I grasp...
The apple trees in the yard died long ago.

About my brow the years rise in a swarm.
Nothing has happened otherwise. This is
The work we do together and alone -
Walking the roads, discovery and rue.
It is the moment seized on like a star
Shot down on the horizon. It is learned
From every lover ever to have lost you,
From all you wish you had not overlooked,
To get things clearer toward the final act.
Know what you're made of. Or go to pieces.

I cannot start again. I simply start
Resolved into the company of living
and dead, of all I read and think and wish
to be. So let me end in ash or dust
but in remembrance be a boon to live with.
Our funerals are never for the dead.

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