Darn child, where have you been hiding?
Why do you leap this upon me now,
at life’s late hour?
I thought you buried in time’s shallow grave,
and I had conveniently forgotten how
you called me out as second best;
fearing to intrude where ‘them others’ smooch.
For the hot-handed grasp of teenage angst
had me throttled, where the hormones jest.
I’m back there ...
Would you know what to say?
I say, they know who they are!
Who are they?
Who will they think you are?
What to do if they rebuff?
What then? Stay away, you say,
stay away; dry as a tear at moon’s gate.
And although I long not to yearn this way
I do; cold in ache, fearful of their sophistication,
not understanding that, or
what drove me on through the insecurity
of those days, to arrive at the ‘stability’ of now.
Hindsight gently removes its steadying hands
from the swinging balance of time. See how
it settles, equilibrates, but time’s too late.
Oh, you old fool, see how your angst
is handed down to the young aches of today,
with their own brand of sophisticated insecurity;
that you cannot know, but can imagine secondhand.
Your need was as big as the denial.
The clenched teeth that clamped around
your brain-stem, denying rational thought;
that voiced relentlessly: do not turn around
to look upon the countenance that brought
the angst of your ‘them’ and so confound
the answer to the conundrum of why,
is this man, now angst-free, yet still afraid
to look upon those days, and to say,
that was the agony that unbraid
sublime, and was the slow undoing of me.
Oh that I could place
the proverbial old head
upon young shoulders.
But writhing in the travails of youth,
who would listen to a silly old man
who does not understand?
I angst you, tell me that?