(How to look at this poem is hinted at in the title. A tiny screen and small thinking won’t work. Like the subject matter, it requires a larger view.)

Ramona Zabriskie

For us,
for the two of us,
it’s a strange time of life.

Strangely peaceful.
Strangely disquieting.

Strangely elusive.
Things have never felt so open and yet so close-ended at the same time.
We are not old-old. We are not young-young.
We still move with determination
but with far more deliberation.
Experience makes us bold.
And scares us in our sleep.
Dreams have dissipated.
Dreams have blended.
Dreams sustain us  
but do not drive us.
And because we
know, we believe.
And because
we don’t know,
we have
Power comes
at last    when
we need  it least
and don’t  deserve
or care     for the
credit,     nod,
responsibility or compensation.

Our parents have left us to become
agents unto    ourselves.
And youth,   full faces
flashing     energy,
defiance,   alacrity
at us,     wait on
us. Hang on us.

Like fruit on the tree
of our making. They bud light.
They ripen heavy. Forcing our roots
deeper and deeper and deeper still
until what is beneath us and behind us
overwhelms and undergirds what is
before us. Here at the
bottom, and the top,
of shared life,
comprehension culminates
in hereafter. Equity in the next life is the
equality and the equanimity earned in this one.
Glory and gloriousness is ours. Is us.
Because we
spend it,
spread it,
shake it out.
Use it until it’s gone.
And there’s nothing
left but a tendril of
tenderness to curl
ourselves up in.


That’s what it means to me to have loved each other and so many others over a very long time. Enjoy 65, Beloved. You so deserve it.