The Panic of Growing Older By Lenrie Peters

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

have nothing to show


Legs cribbed

in domesticity allow

no sudden leaps

At the moon now


Copybook 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 a grain of sand.


Inner satisfaction

dwindles in sharp

blades of expectation

from now on the world has you.

The Panic of Growing Older By Lenrie Peters

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