Last night, I found a poem I wrote in my 20s for someone’s 50th birthday. I had so much time on my hands. I wrote it to the style and meter of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. It’s funny to me for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I am almost 50 myself. What I used as old age benchmarks are a bit antiquated now that I’m almost there. It’s also quirky because of my references to pop culture at the time.
And because we’ve established that I didn’t have much to say, I’ll post it. If you know anyone turning 50, feel free to cheer them up with this in a greeting card.
Once upon a midnight dreay
Muscles cramped and vision bleary
Lawrence Welk upon the tube
I used to think he was a bore.
Dentures soaking in the restroom
sending forth a sterile crest fume,
Having reached the end of Welk,
I took the “flipper” from the drawer.
Flipping with a steady hand,
60 shows at my command.
To sleep is all that I have planned,
Because I’m youthful, nevermore.
Is this some occult illusion?
Some maniacal intrusion?
MTV and VH1?
This trash was never here before.
Carefully I weighed my choices,
Thinking I might hear some voices.
Could it be just “old age” noises,
Beating down my bedroom door?
I tried to think what I could do
To bring my youth back into view.
But as of yet I have no clue.
I’ve never been this old before.
I racked my brain in desperation,
thinking up wild combinations
Extinction and annihilation –
words that haunt me to the core.
There I sat, distraught, exhausted,
by my own insight accosted
I raised myself up off the bed
And paced across my bedroom’s floor.
Memories of my prime are nifty.
Days when birthdays never miffed me.
Now, alas, I’m turning FIFTY!
Oh, what with this year have in store?
I leaned against the bed to rest,
a hanky to my forehead pressed,
Still feeling overwhelmed and stressed…
I’ll see my childhood nevermore.
“Oh well, I’ll soon be fifty five.
The discounts will keep me alive.
I think seniors aren’t so bad
And I still think I know the score.
And when this milestone day is done,
I’ll push ahead to Fifty-One,
With every rise and set of sun,
My youth is with me evermore.