ON NEARING SEVENTY
by Janet Adams Dunn
This one is different.
The sixty-nine others came and went so smoothly.
They didn’t change me, or cause discomfort.
They didn’t mess with me like this one.
I still felt the same and smiled each year.
I even scoffed, “You can’t scare me”, I said,
With confidence. But not this one.
Seventy? Is seventy old?
It sure doesn’t feel old. Not even close.
I still deadlift and grow strong new muscle.
I walk fast and hold myself up straight.
I still dance and move with rhythm.
I still seek knowledge, and laughter and …. affection.
I am still quite alive, thank God.
Yet I wonder ….
Are years counted on all my fingers,
Of one hand or two? Oh God I pray for more.
How many hugs and holidays with my children?
Or glorious sunrise snuggles and coffee?
It’s far too foggy and unsafe ahead. I prefer clarity.
I already miss what I don’t even know I will miss.
I grieve. I think too much.
These thoughts are new to me.
They swirl around inside my mind like fake snow,
floating and trapped within a water globe,
never comfortably settling. Drifting without answers.
Taunting me with uncertainty.
Don’t speak to me the platitudes,
or feed me false assurances.
I have heard them too many times.
I have even spoken them all …. to others.
I realize now they are powerless,
As I start my eighth decade.
Yet ….. this unsettledness, these thoughts,
The anxiousness – there is another side.
A different meaning to “uncertain” seventy.
It speaks to me in dark of night.
I feel it’s urgency when I wake.
It’s my own voice and it’s growing louder.
It shakes and moves me. It even dares me.
It is time. It is now.
Or not at all.