The panic of growing older 

The panic
of growing older 
spreads fluttering wings 
from year to year 

At twenty 
stilled by hope
of gigantic success
time and exploration 

At thirty 
a sudden throb 
of pain. laboratory tests 
having nothing to show 

Legs cribbed 
in domesticity allow 
no sudden leaps 
at the moon now 

Copy book bisected 
with red ink 
and failures 
nothing to show the world 

Three children perhaps 
the world expects 
it of you no 
specialist’s effort there 

But science gives hope
of twice three score 
and ten. Hope 
is not grain of sand 

Inner satisfaction 
dwindles in sharp 
blades of expectation 
from now on the world has you.

              LENRIE PETERS

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