Be Careful What You Wish For

“Oh, give me back my youth again,” he cried
like Faust. For hordes of winsome girls appeared
to stir the passion bottled up inside
him – from his glowing skin tone to a beard
like snow. In youth he was a connoisseur
of music, foreign movies and ballet,
but sorely wanting in affaires de Coeur
whose sweet encounters might have paved the way
for happiness. Thus old, he was prepared
to abdicate the self that he had reared
for sixty years, for most of which he chaired
a seat in academia. So, sheared
of five decades, at Mephistopheles’
directive, he was spared iniquities

of age, since he was only 24.
Though not as young as he’d have liked to be,
he still could shake it on the disco floor.
Coquettes competed for him ardently
to win his love. He yielded up himself
with passion to a fetching ingenue
who commandeered the books upon his shelf
with an allure that later would subdue
ambitions she placed under house arrest.
She fixed the furthest distance he could reach,
while modifying his impassioned quest
to household duties that he dared not breach,
lest he be dragged into an argument
concerning duties, she imposed on him
who felt less like a spouse than occupant
in someone else’s house. And she’d grown prim.
Succumbing to his role as abject thrall,
he grasped his past was not so bad at all.

Born and bred in New Jersey, Frank worked in New York for many years. He loves music from Bach to Amy Winehouse, World Music, Latin, opera. Shakespeare is his consolation, writing his hobby. Frank likes poets Dylan Thomas, Keats, Wallace Stevens, Frost, Ginsberg, and Sylvia Plath. Read other articles by Frank.