April 21
April 21, 2016
Photo by Jim Palmer

Last Lesson
A New Poem by Hilde Oleson

Let me tell you how to grow old.
There is no road map.
For many years now you have been given guidance.
“They” have told you to “grow up”,
Be an adult, be a man (or woman)
“Act like a grown up”,
But now you do and people stop you.
Friends say, “Let me do that for you”.
They take your arm to help you cross the road.
“Don’t climb on that step-stool” they tell you
Although last year you patched a hole in the roof
After the big wind. They didn’t know you climbed
Up there alone!
So the secret is, smile sweetly. Take their arm,
But when they have gone home and left you all alone
Climb on the footstool, stand erect, and sing a song
Really loud. Make music for yourself.
Remember just before you go to bed, the days when you
First fell in love. Remember how your mind went wild,
How your body trembled with anticipation.
Brush out your hair, give it a toss,
And settle into dreaming.
For most of life is just a dream.
We laugh at accidents, the minor tragedies of life
Become a joke when we retell.
The best moments of our lives are secret,
Never revealed but kept sealed in our hearts.
So when night calms our lives, relieves our bodies,
Live again those glorious moments.
Let others guide your days, as that makes them feel
So secure, knowing that they will never grow old like you.
Keep that the big October surprise of life for them,
And live two lives, the sweet oldster they think they know
And the secret one you hide inside.