Jesse Ellsbury

Rookie - 0 Points (March 23,1982 / Washington D.C.)

In My Later Years - Poem by Jesse Ellsbury

In my later years I discovered fears
not meant for normal life:
broken hearts, unspoken parts
of a career, my wife
having left me
over a bottle,
I always seem to go full throttle
from one mistake to the next,
broken walls I failed to set
right again, it’s no wonder
the clouds no longer
part when thunder
slams the moon to the sky:
all I have left
is what I left behind.

In my later years I learned to shed tears
less often than I should,
let feelings build, remain unfulfilled,
and strive to be made of wood
like every other automaton,
waving a flag while the gilded baton
lies unmoving on the nightstand,
people smile while clenching their hands
and this –
one more day of something like bliss
but more like contentment,
I try to overcome resentment
while under duress,
there once was a caress;
now the only thing left is the wind.

In my later years I began to hear
whispers on the walls
of what they’ve seen, the truth I’ve gleaned,
and all that came before, I call
in silence,
words and violence
left me lost,
what’s been the cost
of a life spent draped in smoke?
We try to cope
by escaping into dreams,
each big enough only for me.

In my later years I returned to a clear
understanding of the Word.
To identify, fulfilled and denied,
what I felt from what I heard
because at this point
not even my voice
could be undeterred,
I know what I deserved:
everything I got.

In my later years I felt the gears
of temptation push and pull
but after a time, not even wine
can get me beneath the wool
for I’ve lived so long
with my eyes on wrong,
I don’t know what to do anymore
with my life or at the store
where I buy petty means,
receptacles of hopes and scenes,
I go home,
paying what I have on loans
I know will outlive me.

In my later years I learned the sincere
expression of gratitude;
no one shows you how much they don’t know you
as much as those who are rude,
and I reach long
into my heart, being strong,
and try to help as I can,
but all I’ve tried collapses like lies
and I end up with my head in my hands.

In my later years I found myself near
the expiration date given at birth
that I lured closer as I tried over
and over with everything worse
for myself than living,
I have tried giving
and taking
and the only thing that made me
whole was surviving
because without that what would I be prizing?
These days
when I live by the way
of a rat left after the storm,
I know that ever since I was born
I’ve been looking for a way out.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

A long poem from the perspective of a man at the end of a long life. Just try the first stanza, I dare you.

Comments about In My Later Years by Jesse Ellsbury

There is no comment submitted by members..

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Poem Edited: Friday, July 26, 2013

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]