word-poem:\\hoary

Do you know what it is to be old?

You do not. You don’t even remember the 12th century.
Dreams are primordial, your bovine mind is a mere trifling.
You see yourself, when you avoid mirrors, as you were at 12.

You have weathered a bit perhaps. The mouth yawns in lethargy.
You will die. Maybe soon. You don’t have to be old to die, you know.
Old is a Ginkgo tree, granite under earth, the rings of Saturn.

You will certainly die before you ripen into wisdom, though you may call
yourself venerable. You have aged like processed cheese or cheap burgundy.
Your stiffness is made of cardboard, not magma. Taste buds drop

like common coleus, not like orchids.  The hand that writes
or stirs the pot owns its share of brown spots. Do not call them age spots
or even liver spots. There is no hoary mystery to infirmity.

If, after some years, nothing tastes sweet, this is not the fault of time.
You must either starve and crave or crave and starve
forever, if you want to know ancient things.

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