The young have a lock on the future.
It¹s like a downtown condo only young
professionals can afford. Growing older
we find ourselves in some familiar,
if slightly run-down, neighborhood‹lawns
need mowing, window and door trim, paint. People
living there often die of sadness. So much
of their joy was in looking good, drinking
in the clubs on weekends, like a beer ad,
in the company of attractive friends.
Some people are OK with losing that.
There¹s a slowness here they¹ve always craved.
Now they have time for admiring the city
from a distance at night, while by day
cultivating beautiful roses. The garden
has a lot to say about living in
the present. Though the future is running out,
there is always enough now until there isn¹t.
THOMAS R. SMITH'S most recent book is Windy Day at Kabekona: New and Selected Prose Poems (White Pine Press). He lives in western Wisconsin and teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.