1. Those 10 Years

Milestone birthdays tend to fall on the years divisible by 10. As I watch those around me experience these days, I am taken by the way these become occasions to "take stock" of one's life. In "Those 10 Years," I do that for my own life. I confess that it is a bit odd to watch one's life zip by in a song, but here it is.


Those 10 Years

On the day that I turned 20
I kind of held my breath
Known less for things that I had done
Than what I’d not done yet

And the weight of that hung over me
But I didn’t really care
As the moment kept on calling me
Like birdsong in the air

On the day that I turned 30
I kinda said “What now?”
The kids had finally gone to sleep
Though I couldn’t tell you how

I’d held on for the coaster ride, the joyful climbs, the fears
And wondered what had happened to
Those 10 years

On the day that I turned 40
I could feel the temperature climb
People chasing glory
People chasing time

We were running there beside them
Sharing victories and tears
And wondering what happened to
Those 10 years

Those 10 years passed like lightning
We were caught up in a blur
Was the movement getting frightening?
Did I long for how things were?

When I finally turned 50
I was staring at my age
Like notes from my last novel
Written on a yellowed page

We’d go walking through the forest
We’d walk along the shore
It was all unfolding for us
Though we’d reached for something more

We were gathering our friendships
And the memories held dear
And wondering what had happened to
Those 10 years

When I got to 60
People thought I’d become wise
While I wrestled with reality
In my grey disguise

Would they realize my guesswork?
Did my reckoning draw near?
And what had really happened through
Those 10 years?

Easing into seventy
Like nothing really changed
The maladies, the remedies
The memory for names

Should I dwell upon the story
The agony, the cheers?
Or should I simply love the dance
Of all those years

© Gary Poole 2021