If you think it's a shock reaching thirty,
just wait till you turn eighty.
Eighty, I keep saying to myself,
I'm eighty and life's quite normal ---
still walking around, still jacking off.

Of course, one spill and I could be
in the Village Nursing Home that I pass every day.
We're waiting for you, the attendants' faces say,
as they enjoy their cigarettes on the sidewalk
or chat on their cellphones.
And the wrecks in wheelchairs out front
look at me grimly as I lope by, which I read as,
You think you're so smart, Pops,
you'll soon be right here, with us.

Actually, it's been months since my birthday,
and I'm still taking it in,
and when the crucial event happens
I imagine it will also be awhile
before I wake up and realize where I am ---
in a wheelchair, hospital bed, or coffin.

Blessings on all the kids who improve the signs in the subways:
They put a beard on the fashionable lady selling soap,
Fix up her flat chest with the boobies of a chorus girl,
And though her hips be wrapped like a mummy
They draw a hairy cunt where she should have one.

The bathing beauty who looks pleased
With the enormous prick in her mouth declares,
"Eat hair pie; it's better than cornflakes."'
And the little boy in the Tarzan suit eating white bread
Now has a fine pair of balls to crow about.

And as often as you wash the walls and put up your posters,
When you go back to the caged booth to deal out change
The bright-eyed kids will come with grubby hands.
Even if you watch, you cannot watch them all the time,
And while you are dreaming, if you have dreams anymore,

A boy and girl are giggling behind an iron pillar;
And although the train pulls in and takes them on their way
Into a winter that will freeze them forever,
They leave behind a wall scrawled all over with flowers
That shoot great drops of gism through the sky.

--- From After the Fall
Poems Old and New

Edward Field
©2007, University of Pittsburgh Press)
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