All I Know Is This

(We were given our choice of openers, but we were FORBIDDEN from using any words with more than FOUR LETTERS)…

All I know is that
most of the guys I hang with
are as old as mud; as old as
they will ever be, even if
a year or two more (or even
five or ten) go by.

Five or ten, at our age,
is a drop in a pail,
like dust in the wind:
gone as soon as it’s here,
only a bit of fade
lost in the new deep dark.

All I can say to them
(not that they ever ask)
is what I have come to know:
Ache and pain and fear
are the new way of life;
—the new here and now.

Get used to it, dude; it’s
all you have left. It’s the
ruts in the road you are on,
the wing that won’t work,
the thin ice you must trod.
We’re old. It is what it is.

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