To the old at heart

We are young —
Yet we are already surrounded by the shortlived.
Subsistence on memory.

We thought we had years and years
In the palm of our hands,
The hands we clasped tightly around them:
Our mistaken eternal summers.

No: We needed no wrinkles, no sagging skin, no calluses,
To etch the age into us.
We only needed the premature separation
From an autumnal soul,
One that turned so silently from hot to cold.

We were young once —
Or maybe we lived the lie of youth.
Underneath, we were already far too fragile
To keep up with those careless springtime hearts;
We were too blind by then to see
That they could only leave winter in their wake.


  1. mildred


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