Younger in the shadows

In the shadow of our pasts,
we look much younger.

In the days when I went places
for free food and intellectual
conversation, among poets
sallow below chandeliers,
self-consciously dressed in black
or ostentatiously avoiding that
cliché while embracing all others…

Divorce drove me back
to my dreams of the past.

I stared at a dropped greenback
ready to strike on the lavish floor.
It may have been a ten,
half my weekly grocery tab,
or, with the inflation of memory,
even a twenty.

Long shadows fall, distorting
reflections of our pasts.

Penurious poets
glanced sidelong at the windfall,
posturing in poverty’s embrace.
No one approached the loot —
we all circled warily, suspecting
a snare.

A shadow fell
Then, with a swoop,
a predator snatched the cash,
asked a pretty twenty-something
“Did you drop this?”
“Why, yes!”

Looking much younger

A quarter-century later,
I look back with regret
at being too proud to bend
and too old not to have to.

Inspired by #GoDogGoCafe

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