158. when I grow up.
I am not a man,
I’m a 52 year old boy,
with middle-aged spread & greying hair.
Men have gone to war, killed
and been killed,
and done all the things that men are said to do
and died as men before my years.
But still I am a boy.
To call myself, to think myself, a man
sounds very grand & self-regarding,
– pompous, even,
and for all my faults & poor bravado
I never was blessed with an over-burdened ego.
I have broken hearts & had mine broken,
travelled the world & risked my life,
I have wed, reproduced, provided well for,
and yet, to myself,
I am still a boy
& certain that I shall die a boy.
But in a million years or so,
when they dig up my remains
will they say
“ah, yes – these are the bones of a six foot boy”
or will those fusty fragments have been honed & polished
by the passage of millennia
to achieve the status
of the bones of a man,