Youth never knows what it gives or receives --- and stiff age rarely kneels
--- But Lord, Lord, I've cherished your bounty for once. This absurd husk
Can scarcely believe that the tropical paradise of the flesh has forgotten
To cast him from its breast. There's someone still willing to let me. I quake
. . . Like a tomb-robber avid for gold but in dread of some terrible curse.
Quickly then! Before someone remembers. Before night. Before winter
Sets in. Above all, before our teenage daughter gets home. Fleet as hers,
Our glad steps on the stair carpet threadbare from dolorous adult tread.
Quickly --- but gratefully, tenderly, kindness for foreplay, accepting
The scars and wens and warts and the shyly blossoming liver spots.
Glory be to God for dappled things --- but even so, draw down those
Blinds. Pull the comforting duvet across us in the orthopædic bed.

--- From Autumn Beguiles the Fatalist
Michael Foley
©2006 Dufour Editions
Chester Springs PA 19425
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