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If I Died at 55: 315 Experiment Poem 8/12/05

January 1, 2008

August 12, 2005 315am

Today’s my mom’s birthday.
She was born in 1937.
That makes her almost 70.
She seems much younger than that.
70 seems so old
and she’s not.

I used to think
55 was old.
My mother-in- law
she died at 54 and
I used to think
she lived a long life
that 54 was a good number of years.

It’s not. If I died at 55
my son would be 12. I would miss
a lot of Little League games
his prom his high school graduation.
So what really. I would miss
his second third fourth loves miss
seeing him figure out what he wants to do
with his life his summer his afternoon miss
teaching him how to drive a car.

I would miss too many kisses
too many hugs miss
whether his hair went straight
and then curly again. I would miss
how he takes the power of his words
and use it the power of his
body the power of his soul.

I would miss him going off
backpacking with his friends miss
the stories he would return with.
I would miss fixing a terrific dinner together
drinking a bottle of wine
hearing him philosophize.

I would miss hearing his humor
seeing how tall he gets
how his teeth shape his mouth
whether his lips stay bee stung

If I died at 55 I would miss
his wedding never meet
his spouse his children his dog
never see the hair on his chest
never know his adult voice
never see him wear his thrift store finds.

I want to see him grow
grow a beard grow gray at the temples.
I want to see more sunsets at the beach
more dolphins in the ocean more
butterflies and caterpillars and snails.
I want to go for summer hikes and grunion hunting
climb Telescope Peak and Whitney.

I want to be there for him when
the world crushes him down
and he doesn’t want to get up.
I want to be there for him when
he is so happy he will burst if he keeps it in.

I want to be there for him when
he needs to know how to make
French toast the way we did
when he was a kid how to make
rice and raisins tell him stories about when
he was small.

I want to be there with him
for a long long time
much longer than 55
much longer than 70.

I want him to know me so well that
I will always be with him.

We were camping at the beach over the weekend and New Year’s Eve at Montana de Oro State Park on the central coast so my Monday Poetry Train is a bit late. I’m posting this with the untimely death of Jeffrey San Marchi on my mind. It’s from the 3:15 Experiment 2005, and seems an appropriate post for New Year’s Day, a moment to reflect on and appreciate being alive one more year, another year, 2008.

yours on the prowl in 2008, the art predator

3 Comments leave one →
  1. A me permalink
    February 7, 2008 8:58 pm

    This poem is

    absolutely
    moving

    absolutely
    true

    and the way i feel
    exactly.

    xoxo,
    A me TC

  2. February 12, 2008 2:52 am

    thanks…

    and congrats on having another bun in the oven!

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