Monday, November 16, 2009


Editor's note: A recurring theme throughout my father's poems is growing older. Sometimes, he took a philosophical tack; other times, as with this one, he traveled down a more humorous path.

When I was a young man of twenty or so
I was full of ambition and get up and go,
And I can remember, at age twenty-five
I was coasting along in overdrive.

So, into my thirties I sailed right along,
With a tiger in my tank, and my battery strong;
I had no trouble cruising in high,
Though I noticed the youngsters were passing me by.

But then, in my forties I began to slow --
I shifted to second, and then into low;
And then, in my fifties, the passing of years
Created a problem: I ran out of gears!

And now, though I'm able to carry my load
I don't care to race to the end of the road;
And that's why I travel in low gear today,
And choose to be shiftless the rest of the way!

--From Down Country Roads (1970)

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