Alice Walker

(9 February 1944 - / Eatonton Georgia)

You Want To Grow Old Like The Carters


Let other leaders
Retire
To play golf
& write
Memoirs
About bombing
Villages
They've never seen.

Growing old
Presents a peril
They may not
Expect.

It is to lose
One's soul
In trivia
& irrelevance
The nerve
Endings
Blunted
By the constant
Pressure
Of moral
Indifference.

Growing old
A curse:
Not even
Generally speaking
Able
To relate
To whoever
Shares

Your house. Not the mansion
You inhabit
On the
Lovely stolen hill
Above the sea
Or the interior one:
The darkened
Desolate
Shack.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters;
Curing blindness
&
Building houses
For
The Poor;

Making friends of those
Who believe
They must fight.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters
Holding hands
With someone
You love
&
Riding bicycles
Leisurely
Where the ground
Is well known
& perfectly
Flat.

You want to find
And keep to the path
Laid down
Inside you
Such a long time
Ago.

You want to grow old
Like
The Carters:
Serene. Eyes
Twinkling
To be accused
Of
Not getting
It right.

Upfront, upright.
Speaking what to you is true.

A person rich in Mothers.
Beloved.

And:
Honoring what is black
In you.

Submitted: Friday, March 16, 2012
Edited: Friday, March 16, 2012

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