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Things Were Different

Robin Rice

Things were different from how everyone said it would be. Forty and then some, getting soft under the chin and arms, divorced from the way things were.

I was not left alone; did not become unremarkable.

Lovers did not cease to bring wine to my lips, gifts to my soul.

My garden of friends, though changed in hue every now and again, never withered.

The sun did not become my enemy--oh, how wrong they were on that one!

Poverty was not the perpetual wolf at the door, yet neither did riches become my security.

My children did not turn from me, even in their most difficult years.

No, none of that.

Sometimes I wonder, truly, could my disillusionment have come sooner?

Could this light in my eyes have been lit even younger, had I not believed in what everyone said?


(Written 2004)