I am guilty—who do I blame?
I am old—who do I entreat?
I am torn—who do I thank?

There is, I suspect, in the shell of every need
the pith of an answer
and the crown of a desire rooted deep in pure release.
Not lost (not yet) but slipping,
just-oh-so-softly away.
Aye, slipping.

There comes an age when you are “older.’ By this I do not mean “21 is older than 20,” but “older” as in “old.” You recognize that the majority of your life is behind you and that certainly the most dynamic, energizing part has slipped into the past.

This realization put me in a reflective mood, looking back on my life. None of it matters, not really. Who you have been and are, the people you affected and who affected you—that matters—but only in a reflective way, as a mirror reflects the world. The moment that is, is, and for right now, that is all you have. Not the past, not the future, but only the here and now.

Thank you for reading Oh-so-softly. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.


Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “Oh-so-softly

  1. So true John…., it is so true.

    Warm wishes,

  2. Mei,

    Thank you! This getting old business…it is not for the fearful! 😉


  3. Barbara C Minor

    yes,,,,only the survivors reach the nursing home or the home care section of later life. Time is a friend now. Time offers looking at life to see what was learned, what to teach, what to share, maybe what you missed. Poems can do that…joggle my experiences with your words, my friend, John.


    • Barbara,

      Thank you for dropping by! Time as a friend…that is an interesting concept, and one, I confess, I rarely think of. And yes, poems can joggle the memory…I know they do for me!