Declared a “Young adult” at eighteen, though still a resident of Father’s home, I matured admirably toward twenty.
Across the water stretched the shore of my nineteenth year, Summer of sun, sand, song. Girls young to love – not as daughters, lovers, then, – as lovers then, and wine and song and moving toward, looking toward, confident, impatient, forward toward never look back.
At forty I turned twenty-one, and they were dead, all of them, the ones I was going to impress.
The Old Man too. Da. Da. Gone.
What sharp torsion wrenched the spine of my Time crooked; maimed the Smithy of my Soul; stopped growth and movement — once so feral and emergent — at the brink? How deep the well of ice-core that could so flash-freeze me at the onset of my going forth to do?
The then, then, and then: slow, painful hammering to upright (worked the crippled Smithy). Facing grief, loss, mortality with placid, mannish eyes.
I’d like to call it “wisdom,” not defeat, but really I would rather swim — back. To the forward of my shore.