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The Time Wolf


By Don Kenton Henry

In the late afternoon of life, sunrise seems not so long ago
Though the morning dew is long dry upon my shoes, the joys of youth
Still shine as the sun’s soft rays upon my denying soul
And sweet memories drop in as fresh and comforting as summer rain on a hill country tin roof
And thoughts of the boy I was are fresher still

Yet sunset is nigh, and truth be known these feet are not as light and these bones the proof
That this tired tenement of flesh is no longer much a temple
In which to weather winter’s chill; alas no shelter is it impenetrable
What cruel joke is this
That I no longer dance in real time as does my mind
Waltzing in three quarter rhyme with young girls, shamelessly stealing their kiss,
Lithe and winsome–with eyes bright–their touch a thing of bliss

Nay, I no longer see the room I once entered with a countenance of confidence light up upon my entry
Gone is the swagger of the Turk once young
And will not return . . . for the time wolf is a heartless sentry
Now be I the thoroughbred whose race has run; the boxer whose bell has rung; the eve whose ball has dropped; the opera ‘s last act sung
Soon enough time’s dagger’s work be done
And no one is immune, not poor man or landed gentry
Least I that strives to live the last quarter of his day
Determined yet fruitless in keeping the midnight hour and finality at bay

And so I revel in what joys are left; kiss more and cry less
Laugh louder, love longer, dance closer; hug stronger and relish moments helping others do the same
Think more of grandpas, old dogs, summertime and homemade wine
Recall sundresses and shaved legs and ribbons in their hair
The more than one maiden fair in cut-off jeans and even less good sense than what she had to wear
Yes, all they had to give was there in frayed denim and now memory frayed in time
I close my eyes and I go back to the sublime
Before I go forward over the cold black mountain of what will be
I take each chance to remember and persist in trying to live life without a care
I leave one foot in a timeless summer past
While the other steps ever closer into winter . . . and the time wolf’s inescapable dark lair

One comment on “The Time Wolf

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