Image by Tim Bishop

Getting Older

Getting Older

The first surprise: I like it.
Whatever happens now, some things
that used to terrify have not:

I didn't die young, for instance. Or lose
my only love. My three children
never had to run away from anyone.

Don't tell me this gratitude is complacent.
We all approach the edge of the same blackness
which for me is silent.

Knowing as much sharpens
my delight in January freesia,
hot coffee, winter sunlight. So we say

as we lie close on some gentle occasion:
every day won from such
darkness is a celebration.


from Collected Poems and Translations (Carcanet Press, 2002), copyright © Elaine Feinstein 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Books by Elaine Feinstein