On Being This Age (53)

Between the piles and the cavities
I am fraying at the edges
In this, my fifty-third year

I’ve spent my ten thousand hours
Earning expertise
As an employee and as a reader
Subservient to the corporation
And to the word

Like a fractured hermit crab
Resting in the tide pool
I wait for the sea
To obliterate
Either these familiar surroundings or

Carry me beyond the reef
Into the trench
With its tapered sides
Littered with empty shells

Was any preparation
Ever possible
Or applicable
For such an eventuality?

Ask the crab with the cracked carapace
If mending him
Will ever fix anything


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