Middle Age

Many of my friends are alone
and know too much to be happy
though they still want to dive
to the bottom of the green ocean
and bring back a gold coin
in their hand. A woman I know wakes
in the late evening and talks
to her late husband,
the windows blank photographs.
On the porch, my brother,
hands in pockets,
stares at the flowing stream.
What’s wrong? Nothing.
The cows stand
in their own slow afternoons.
The horses gather
wild rose hips in the sun
the way I longed for someone
long ago. What was it like?
The door opening
and no one on either side.

Jason Shinder, “Middle Age” from Stupid Hope. Copyright © 2009 by Jason Shinder. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org
Source: Stupid Hope (Graywolf Press, 2009)
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