Just when we think we have life figured out, it has a
way of throwing us a curve ball. This poem was written
at just such a time in my life.
Submitted to Poets United Poetry Pantry #359
June 25, 2017
I approached forty-five in a manner quite staid
The children were grown, the mortgage almost paid
I had all the answers, I knew what came next
Retirement, grandchildren, just like in the text.
Then Fate shuffled the cards and dealt a new hand
“You’re alone now”, Fate said, “Just where do you stand?”
“I don’t know”, I shouted, as I dealt with my sorrow,
“But somehow I’ll manage to plan for tomorrow”.
So I set out to consider just where I’d belong
“You’ll do fine”, people said, “You’ve always been strong”.
Didn’t they know it was scary out there
Facing life as a single when you’d been half of a pair?
And I, who only yesterday had seemed to know it all,
In my single encounters felt exceedingly small.
Suddenly, in my middle years, thanks to fickle Fate,
To my utter amazement I accepted a date.
And the wizard of the PTA felt once again quite stupid
As now once more, as at sixteen, she’s targeted by cupid.
My thoughts turned back to the late-night talks
When my daughter sat on my bed.
So wise I was then, so opposite now
What great thing was it I’d said?
“Mother’s doing quite well”, said daughter to son.
“It’s good she’s found life still can be fun.”
And they, whom I’d counseled in this, that and the other
Now took up the task of bringing up mother.
“Remember our talks, Mom, when you expected the worst?
They’re the same now”, said daughter,
“But the roles are reversed“.
I’m grateful, Lord, you’ve let me know
It’s still good to be alive.
But, is there some way that we could forego
This puberty at forty-five?