I am turning 65 years old.
It’s just a freaking big, ugly number.

Some of my friends never came close to being this number.
Their ailments caught up with them when they weren’t paying attention, not to mention caught unawares.
I find that I sit and stare more and I’m sure that my eyes deceive me,
But believe me, it’s really just that my processor is slowing down a bit.

I’ve thinned out in some regard, hairline notwithstanding,
Still carry a slight pudge. (I nudge my belly to watch it jiggle)
And I laugh more than giggle at the motion.
I have a notion that when life finally catches up with me,
I’ll see things I’ve never imagined just before I expire.
It’s not my desire to hallucinate, but that’s debatable.

My sense of humor makes less sense lately, even I don’t get me sometimes.
My rhymes get more outrageous and if read in stages gets to the point.

I relate to my granddaughter.
I’m convinced she’s smarter than me at almost two
and sees things through her innocence

That I’ve never looked hard enough to discover.
She my best pal. We laugh and dance and sing and sing and sing…
Okay, so we like to sing!!

Being invisible as an adult is no different that it was in high school
Except for the fact that I’m older and I hurt in places I didn’t know
I had places. I can still recognize faces if I squint hard enough.

I’ll never play Carnegie Hall no matter how hard I practice.
I’ll never really be a true laureate, no matter how much I mess with words.
I’d change if I knew what I’d wanted to be when I grew up. Still undecided.

I remember my belligerence at turning 30.
I wasn’t to be trusted any longer, and that bothered me.
I felt old at 30.
And 31.

I never traveled well. I didn’t travel much at all!
The only trip I remember was a trip and fall.
I don’t recall much after that!
It wasn’t that memorable.

I never won a million dollar lottery.
Or a few thou!
Maybe six bucks on a scratch off.
I dropped the quarter through a sewer grate, so I lost on that one!

I loved to have fun when it would find me.
It would remind me what I was like at nine.
I was fine until I started noticing things.

I was scared of spiders and girls.
I got over the arachnids. Girls haunted me for some time.
My shyness was the slings and arrows of my youth.
To tell the truth, I don’t miss it.
Kissed it goodbye long ago.

Loved a few, married the one,
Have some regrets (doesn’t everyone?)
I have a survivor’s spirit and I hear it call me
In times of tumult. (A Walt in tumult is not pretty!)

Had a few shitty jobs, worked with slobs and geniuses
And so have they. I wished they would have paid more money.
I became a poet because I couldn’t sing and dance.
Except with my granddaughter! My purpose.

I’ve touched some hearts, but never touched my soul,
At least not in the way a true wordsmith could.
At least I don’t think I have!
But poetry is my kryptonite, and so I write.
Right or wrong, I write!
In it I can express, and love, and vent,
Get all bent out of shape and breathe!

Every bit of my life has gotten me here.
I just wanted to make myself clear as I turn 65.
It’s just a number.
A freaking ugly, enormous number,
An expressive bit writ on the eve of my 65th birthday.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2021


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