To grow older

is a monument, 

and you’ve earned

the exhaust fuel in your joints

from your miles of riding, 

writing, working. 

Wear the ache

earnestly, unabashedly

around your knuckles 

like rings 

the years bent on one knee

to gift to you. 


Your smile lines 

are army badges

embroidered into you, 

meticulous stitches

woven patiently, honorably. 

You disprove your stillness 

in time-lapse photos,

backward glances, 

and the achievements 

you’ve shouldered, 

adorning you. 


In the evening, 

quiet and thoughtful,

under your ceiling fan

in slow rotation, 

your blankets and wife

absorbing your chill, 

you’ve earned your untightening, 

your unfastening, your heavy eyelids


Your dreaming will play in vignettes:

renditions of memories

with blended borders 

you’ve accumulated

in animated succession.