Glenn Bagshaw

Rookie (CANADA)

On Turning Twenty-One

Poem by Glenn Bagshaw

On Turning Twenty-One
(the sound, the fury)

With today, twenty-one years
has been wasted to make a fool;
all squandered years
and thrown away ambition
and first hope as well.
My regrets for the pointless efforts
of parental prayers,
and the flesh-dancing bones
and the skull that smiles-
though trapped, though trampled
since that inward aspect
hates itself.

Yet even this hate is wasted
and the moment, now-
candles will flame away,
crumbles the cake and the years
like tears fall down.
All of everything
fearfully in mind-
as if so desperate
to stay alive- all fails;
and body's own self-tomb
that first strains
with infant urge
to burden down a womb.

On Turning Seventy-One
(signifying nothing)

Look in mirror
some old snow.
You were young.
Does it show?

Look in mirror
Is that you?
'Living's deadly, '
Mirror's view.

(On reflection-
It's quite true.)

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 30, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, November 24, 2005