Older Now

by Jerry Ratch


You have forgotten how to walk,

Haven't you? How to achieve

That sexual balance that

You had by nature, once.


A lot of young people have told me

What it feels like to be bold,

To be sure on your feet

Like that.


I saw this older bum on the street

Yesterday. It looked like snow has fallen

Over his eyebrows and beard.

I don't remember seeing that before.


And you said: Talk ain't so cheap anymore,

Is it? What did you mean by that?

I thought I knew, but

Now I'm not so sure.


You will never know how much it hurts

When someone else touches your face.

But I also know how much you count on others

To pull the slivers out of your heart.