The new grass grows green and high
Scampers in the wind, brushing
Against knees of oak and willow.
The blades shout their small cries,
“We are many and we are young.”
A beech shakes its branches.
The forest sighs, and sheds it leaves,
Knows the cold sun will shrink the noise,
If the summer bulls do not stop to feed
On all that grass so ready to bleed.
An old photo shows who you were,
Young man naive and ripe with dreams.
You smile with a full head of hair,
Knowing the future will be bright.
Twenty plus years have rolled by
And that eager boy has become
A pot bellied curmudgeon,
Cynical and angry with all.
Happiness is a fading memory.
The golden years lie ahead,
minus the gold,
and the rich tapestry
you sought to weave
with your life
has proven to be just a smudge,
a bit of oil and dirt
stuck to the wall
in a wide and
Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory from 1986 to 2010. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, Waltz of the Meatballs, and Her Eyes.