The Winter of Our Discontent
They say it is the winter of our discontent,
when old boughs break and fingers shake,
what raging nonsense!
I find in it so many compensations
stamped into the aging silver of my mind,
a currency to spend and spend again.
Things I've done, not always wisely,
places I've known, good memories,
words spoken, sometimes with regret,
all the ones I've loved are with me still
locked deep and safe inside.
the tiny bells of babies laughing,
kitten fur stroked in the sun,
birthday gifts fearfully anticipated,
skin torn falling from a pine tree,
the brutal shock of a hooked fish,
peppermint fresh on the tongue,
youthful times, always mine,
hot sand gritty on my summer skin
and scented shimmering sea,
the wintry bite of frosted wind
every cut telling you you're alive,
joy upon a rival's awful downfall,
a contract done with a handshake,
a promise never fulfilled
gladness and terror all of a muddle,
the fumbling of sweet uncertainty,
fearful thoughts of arms embracing elsewhere
and eyes seeking another,
and awful rhymes of moon and June.
Should I write it, will they read it?
What silly terrors they are now.
urgent couplings hot with ecstasy,
the longing in my child's first cry,
pride in early, stumbling steps,
all happy times and sometimes repetitious,
every good thing, every sad thing,
mine to be recalled at will.
for the constancy of friends,
music to compliment my mood,
the companionship of old books,
tea and toast at breakfast
and days spent nodding in my chair,
a bright fire to cheer my feet
and summer bees spiraling softly,
Countless pages to be turned
each numbered by the passing years,
frames for a thousand faces,
a thousand loving voices,
what was said or might have been,
all the dances I have danced
and all the songs I've ever sung,
forever part of me.
I do not seek as young ones seek,
I have no envy of success or fear of failure,
no need to pry or preen, impress or boast
or prove I am the stronger.
No malice here, no grudge to bear.
Simply, I sit and turn my pages.
This is my winter.
And I am well content.