Poem: The Panic of Growing Older by Lenrie Peters

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The Panic of Growing Older

The panic
of growing older 
spreads fluttering wings 
from year to year

At twenty 
stilled by hope 
of gigantic success 
time and exploration

At thirty
a sudden throb of 
pain. Laboratory tests 
have nothing to show

Legs cribbed 
in domesticity allow 
no sudden leaps 
at the moon now

Copybook bisected
with red ink 
and failures 
nothing to show the world

Three children perhaps 
the world expects 
it of you. No 
specialist’s effort there.

But science gives hope 
of twice three score 
and ten. Hope 
is not a grain of sand.

Inner satisfaction
dwindles in sharp
blades of expectation.
From now on the world has you.

— Lenrie Peters

Image Credit: Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash.

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