At Sixty

At Sixty

at sixty you are older
than any snapping turtle
that ever was
if you are an oak
or a beech you produce
your best seed
if you are Eleanor
Roosevelt you are
a widow when
Franklin sputters out
Mrs. Pankhurst
could finaly vote
for the first time
when she was your age
if you are British
you must retire
the Foreign Service
if you really are
park your car
and turn in badge
you are no longer
you ask yourself
why after his
harrowing  scuplture
of Balzac
did Rodin become
so rich he could not
but succumb
to the whores
of Paris?
(and how rich
is that rich?)
if you are
a woman
you might
a mile
in under
(especially if chased
by Rodin)
Rumplestilskin Steiglitz
marries Rapunzel
Georigia O’Keefe
Irving Berlin
a Jew writes
Easter Parade
St. Brendan sails
from Ireland
into the vast
Atlantic Mystery
for the first
of three times
to discover
North America
think about it:
you are older
than any alligator
ever was
if you are a beech
or an oak
you produce
your best seeds
and Plato says
you are just ripe
to become
a judge
of your own human

Franklin Abbott
19 April 2007
Stone Mountain

for Andy Bain in celebration
of his sixtieth birthday

facts taken from Tolstoy’s Bicycle
by Jeremy Baker


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