You Don’t Have To Be

You don’t have to be young
to chew on a pencil, or a finger
to laugh at a dog, or squirm in your seat
to cry over what you can’t do, or over spilt milk
to stare transfixed at a blade of grass, or an ant
to wave goodbye, or blow a kiss

You don’t have to be young
but it helps

You don’t have to be old
to savor a new taste, or a new poem
to laugh at an old movie, or a politician
to cry over what can’t be fixed, or over injustices
to stare transfixed at a grandchild, or a liver spot
to say goodbye to another friend, or kiss a closed coffin

You don’t have to be old
but it can’t be helped

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