Who Or What Cares

In 1999 I was 65 years old. Now at 85 this poem seems naive, passé, and so I’ve got a second chance — not to alter time but to refine the poem.

Who Or What Cares?

We’re having a race, my thighs and me.
A pace that alternates between
The zealous and the slovenly,
Exercise and enterprise.

As often as I think of it,
Or when I’m in the pink of it.
These limbs keep at the job of ageing,
Jellifying jollily*,
The two of them against poor me;
Staging war, as if engaging in crossfire,
They’re at it every time I’m not,
Wobblifying till presumably they rot –
My outer self a dinosaur,
Atrophying then extinct.

Still I’m trying – yes I am,
Squatting on an ageing ‘gam’**,
Playing out a deep-knee bend,
The splits, a hand- or headstand:
Plain old-fashioned stretches.

There’s a race, don’t ask the score –
Who-gets-where first, what’s to win,
Time’s wrinkling skin that pricks at pore,
A flaccid jaw and scraggy neck
Are but a speck, an ego fleck
Upon the face, the flow, the flux of time;
Time which doesn’t care a bit,
Give a sh_t, so uninvolved, not caring as it
does.
*poetic licence
**gam; U.S. slang for leg
Who Cares, What Cares? 9.14.1999/Revised 5.10.2020 Circling Round Woman; Circling Round Time; I Is Always You Is We;Circling round Experience;
Arlene Nover Corwin

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