GHOSTS

Pasatiempo - - RANDOM ACTS - [ E. BY ROBERT EVANS ]

The ghosts of youth keep my thin gray hair coarse and thick and brown, Keep my sagging soft skin tight and smooth over mus­cle hard From the long ef­fort­less days of work And nights of love and laugh­ter.

The ghosts play with me: “That re­flec­tion’s not you,” they say; “You’re not that old man — You’re ready to go cruisin’!” “Suck in that gut! Straighten up!” “(Oh, you mean you are straight? That you did suck it in?)”

The ghosts tan­ta­lize and tit­il­late: “That lovely young thing is re­ally giv­ing you the eye — She’s show­ing great re­straint in not climb­ing your bones

right here in the street.” And I strut and preen.

The ghosts are work­ing over­time.

The ghosts are cruel: our din­ners of rare meat and pecan pie

are now pap and gruel, And cof­fee af­ter four o’clock Means piss­ing seven times at night.

The grab bars in the toi­let stall have mean­ing af­ter all.

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