Sunday, October 25, 2015

General Lost Freshness

(Picture taken in 1979)
Years of 1978
Youth is an army ... on a considerably reluctant march into the
enemy's country, the country of the general lost freshness.

                                                                —HENRY JAMES

In that mysterious country, time ran backward—
or we ran forward and everything lay in our slipstream.
The only swamps were rice paddies far south.
The year heavy-footed it across fallow fields
toward peacocks that screamed all night.
Your great-grandfather had gone to the plains
from some hellhole in Europe, life savings
stitched to his pocket when he boarded the cars west.
Falling asleep east of Chicago, he woke penniless.
What we lost, we lost by increments—
not beauty, perhaps, just being young.
What might almost have been innocence.

William Logan
Tin House, Volume 17, Number 1 Fall 2015
from Poetry Daily

1 comment:

Judy said...

What a tender picture of you and your beautiful children. We may have lost innocence and freshness, but we've made up for it in wisdom and stubbornness.