Ancient of Days

At fifty I decided to go back

To school. It wasn’t that I thought that I

Was getting old, although I did, it’s just

That I was feeling hypocritical.

I’d tell my students “Exercise your brain.

It’s just a muscle that you’ve got to use

Or lose.” And mine was feeling atrophied.

It had been decades since I’d gone to school,

Had been a student. What if I was just

A fool who couldn’t cut it any more.

I’d be competing with a bunch of kids,

With twenty somethings, and with those who’d reached

The ancient age of thirty, thirty-five;

And how would I explain it when I flunked

My classes? Would my students understand

The handicap of learning when you’re old?

Or would they certainly, correctly, say

“You idiot! To think that we’re supposed

To learn from you.” But still, it was a dream.

So I applied and found myself once more

A student. It was so much fun. And work.

I found that I was lucky I was old.

I didn’t have a life you know. My life

Was studying. I didn’t hang with friends

And didn’t have to find companionship.

It wasn’t long before I knew the kids

Were having trouble keeping up with me.

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