In A Book of Years

In a book of years, Rimbaud
wrote:
No one’s serious at seventeen
When lindens line the promenade.

The reader remembered being
seventeen the year his father died
by the father’s own hand and for
the first time in seventeen
years knew life to be
a very dangerous place.

In the same book of years,
Shakespeare’s Kent said, “I
have years on my back forty-
eight.” The reader was forty-
eight when his wife died in
a day and on that day aged
ten more years in life he
knew to be an ever so
dangerous place.

In that book of years, Philip
Roth wrote, “I was learning
at seventy-one what it is to
be deranged.”
The reader, seventy-one, sees
the world as a very lovely
place in the midst of all
the “very real and present
danger.”

Perhaps, he is a tad deranged,
but if so, he wouldn’t re-
arrange it as he hears his
wife ask him if he would
like to accompany her
to the store and later
they would look for
the strawberry moon
on this summer solstice
with the chocolate lab
by their side.

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