Harrowing

By Stuart Haden

My coming of age
was upstaged at
my birthday party
by my parents’ friends.
Was that the end
or only the start?
My last standing,
on the stage, was
receiving the Art prize.

In my adolescence
I attended all lessons,
was present on parade,
inspected at every stage,
shot .22 downhill in the range
and .303 bullets at Army camp.
Marched in rain, slept in the damp.
Played my part and was raised in plays.
I ran last for my house and I ran always.

Was sick all the time
without drinking wine,
to be on time and in line,
obeying shout after shout,
not knowing what to choose,
learning the rules not to refuse.
It is only now I’ve come to an age,
too soon to move off my mortal stage
now I’m over three score years and ten.
Stet fortuna domus. Is that for all of us then?

This page was added on 21/04/2021.

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