Meditation on the plane to Tampa

I am afraid of growing old

getting old

I watch distant blue hills, mountains that check off into the clouds

or water.

I am afraid of forgetting

what time it is

what gate to depart

what I’m doing here.

I try to look as intelligent as possible

perky, alert

but I am afraid of the dark paths

where maps don’t quite meet

or where

mountains of memory are being submerged

in cloud scapes.

I am afraid of stiffness

of feeling my blood shift when I put my feet

on the floor

I fear losing my cat

I think all my emotional cushioning,

my nervous shock absorbers

are shot.

I am afraid of growing old

because it is so vague

The sense of myself is as sharp as a morning in Kansas

where a girl stood by a barbed wire fence

eyeing the ceramic knobs and taut wire

wondering if it was

electric — to touch or crawl under?

I’ve always been afraid of disorganization,

like body fluids spilling

out of open veins.

I fear growing old

because I see the youthful adepts jogging

where I walk.

When I was a little girl

I hated naps.

I knew I was missing out on something.

Aging creeps me out like a nap

with a vast sense of what I’m missing.

I watch with dismay

my mom growing feeble and wonder

will I have half her strength at 85?

Not wanting my spirit

to fail before the body.

There’s something I want to have said

or done

I may lose the where withall

to find this something;

A dream

A reason I’m here

An aching untold story

A making I don’t want to leave undone.

I’m afraid I’ll die of a pointless life

not a dread disease.

I’m afraid of aching to the end

without producing




I’m afraid of being used up

before I’m gone.

In what activity do they first teach you how to fall

(besides parachuting?)

I’m afraid of growing old.


One response to “Meditation on the plane to Tampa”

  1. I’m going to read this aloud at Williw Glen Poetry night this month.


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