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.