A Thing Gets Old: ottava rima

A thing gets old because it starts out young
and in the spring has little or no care;
of consequence and karma, yet unsprung
in early life, it remains unaware.
Perhaps in early August, comes a sign:
an aching in the knees on summer nights;
still youth imagines everything is fine,
and pushes ever onward, come what might.
The spring and summer can’t imagine snow,
nor feel the cold that only winter knows.

A thing starts to get old once it is born;
it yearns for growing up, and fails to guess
that once maturity arrives, it forms
an outline for a coffin, more or less,
the narrow limit into which one’s life
is slowly shrunk and whittled down to fit.
The miles and years prune new growth like a knife;
a slight pain first, then you get used to it.
So spring and summer’s sap is drawn away,
until at last the first September day.

A thing is old inside while still a child,
when talent and potential seem so vast;
thus, even when it grows unchecked and wild,
each spurt of life fades quickly in the past.
The flame burning in June so bright and cruel
it catches fire to the surrounding wood,
so quickly can exhaust its store of fuel
and leave but soot and ash where forests stood.
How gray and cold November’s earth can seem,
when March and April’s frolics are but dream.

A thing gets old because that’s what things do:
each born carries a bury in its heart;
a life is but a journey to get through,
there is an end in everything that starts.
What’s sown in spring is harvested in fall;
the rains of summer feed December’s snow.
If you would have a part, you must take all;
to miss a piece, one might as well not go.
Yet who would dance less hard or long in Spring,
just knowing the hard Winter it would bring?

10 APR 2017

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