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I Don't Want to Grow Old (here)

I sweat in the bathroom.

At night. Each night

Before bed.

The dog sighs and splays on the floor.

He’s waiting. He’s waiting for me.

I can’t move. Can’t move away from the mirror.

I don’t want to grow old.

Mostly, I don’t want to grow old, here.

One hair, then two, then more

So many curl, and spiral.

Can’t control them. Find them. Hold them.

I return them,

Damaged to my scalp.

On the ride to work,

A tuft flutters.


Wisps. Webs.



Tricks of the light,

Not time,

Sweeping over and


I mistake more hairs

Still brown, or blonde

Fall to the floor.

When did the long strands start turning?

Why did the faded ones begin?

A different road,

A separate, morning,

I drive under branches.

A walnut rolls.


Wrinkled. Dry.



Cracks large enough.

To grow

Gray faded roots

Long enough

Unbending over and


Roots put down and still I fight the change.

My birthday is at the end of summer.

The tree branch fell at the beginning.

Wind caught and pulled and tore.

It wasn’t dead like so many that cannot hold on.

It was green.

It stayed, green.

For awhile.

Leaves sustained themselves,

Against death.


It browns.

Despite desire,

Trees don’t grow old, here.

In the bathroom,

I remove the bobby pin

The shade of light at work,

Shows all the grays.

I can’t see at home.

I brush my teeth. I floss them.

I’m precise, but not exact.

To keep the silver away.

The dentist and my supervisor agree.


Check up. Check in



Just to prevent decay.

Some hairs still cover others,

So no one notices what I already know.

I don’t want to grow old.

Mostly I don’t want to grow old, here.


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