Asked how he is doing, an old man answers
In words he never would have used
When he was young, “What do you mean,
How am I doing? “Now?”
Knowing that how he is doing
Will change, his thoughts fluctuate,
His actions, or lack of them, go
Like hummingbirds up and down a bush,
He answers his younger friend,
Pausing to check to see
If what he is about to say
Is true, “Actually, at this moment I am doing quite well.
I like sitting here with you on this stone ledge,
Feeling the sunlight on my face and chest.
I am grateful to feel fortunate. I still have most
Of my health, and intermittent good spirits.
Thank you for asking.” He knows because
He finally is old enough that at any minute
All of this could change. He might get
Run over by a beer truck, as he likes to joke,
Without first being handed a can.
For the second time today, the truth that – say
At a quarter to two. Right now is one o’clock –
Sadness may seep in, his tide of despair become more full,
Does not alarm. In fact, he is the slightest bit amused.