She Speaks Her Mind
by Theodora Goss
I am too old
to fall in love for the first time,
to scrape my knee on the slide or break my ankle
roller skating, although I once did these things,
too old to sit on the swings
in the playground failing to properly smoke
my first cigarette, or spend summer afternoons
lying on the grass in the back yard, staring
alternately at the sky and the veined insides of my eyelids,
dreaming of things that haven’t happened yet.
I am too old
to save my money for the popular brand of blue jeans
or long for the actors on the movie screens
of my childhood, for Peter Pan and Robin Hood
and the Scarlet Pimpernel, for the heaven and hell
of adolescence, too old for acne,
for making cassette tapes of my favorite bands.
Time slips like a slinky through my hands
and I can count the years I have left like the rings in a tree
core sample studied in biology class.
I am too old for bubble gum ice cream,
too old to scream on the roller coaster, although
this amusement park ride called life still frightens me.
Too old to believe in Santa Clause or Tinker Bell,
coins thrown in fountains. I grieve
the passing of each year, I have seen so many,
green and gold and brown, having lived
in the country and the town, having watched the leaves
change and fall, and violets spring again,
unfolding their bruised petals after a harsh rain.
I am too old, now, for my first kiss,
whether from fairytale prince or beggar,
too old to get any taller, although I may still,
I fervently hope, grow wiser — and I am
a damn sight too old for this.
(The image is a self-portrait by Mary Cassatt.)
Lovely, as ever. Thankyou!