Growing Old Together - Poem by Bob Bowers
As I look through the frosted panes
Of my study,
Out at the leaves,
Now more brown than gold,
Your image draws me back.
Back to the spring of our youth,
When from this self-same place,
Through these windows,
Much clearer then,
I watched you there.
There beneath our sapling maple,
Grown now, with strength and beauty,
Since those days.
As have you.
You, so like our children,
With whom you played there,
Smiled at me then,
A quick, glowing glance,
That lighted up your eyes.
And my life.
We have grown older now,
You and I,
Like that maple now shedding its glory
To the onslaught of our New England winter,
Stepping in slowly at first,
So we don't notice.
Then suddenly stripping the trees,
And becoming a snowclad wonderland;
Our last goodbye.
I listen as you move about this house,
This house wherein we live our autumn years,
Where we raised our children, now spread like wildflowers.
The sound of your movements is so familiar, so comforting;
It warms all that surrounds me,
So that we hardly need fill our stove,
Heated by our maple's sister,
Who gave her life to share these moments with us.
Often I think of those days, that spring.
It has passed, leaving us the miracle of our children, now grown.
Gone, but forever here,
Sharing our silences, basking in our love,
That made our home the haven
From storm-tossed life
They remain here, in our hearts, wherever else they may be,
Smiling with us at this mellow tenderness
That we have become.
You rattle a dish.
A glass clinks.
Your voice sings out, melting my heart,
As if we were still those children who first fell in love.
We have lived our spring,
The flowers of that life that spread out before us now are gone.
It seemed, in those days,
Wherever we turned our gaze,
Blossomed for us, only us,
Born of the seed of our sight.
But fall has come to us, with welcoming arms.
The crisp morning, our clear insight,
The rainbow of all we see before us, and falling,
Completing the circle,
That is the life we want, that we now share.
It is the fall that tells us we face the coming winter,
Knowing the end is near.
Echoing the beginning we had,
That spring of our life, so long ago.
It is fall that binds us now.
With our joy and play that was our spring
It is fall,
That brings to us our knowledge of the certainty of winter.
It is fall
That quiets our turmoil,
That brings us peace.
You appear in the door,
Here before me,
In my study,
And it is spring again.
You sense my reverie,
That smile of so long ago,
That melts my heart.
That binds my soul to yours.
As I know.
You and I,
There can be no greater joy.
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