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When did I get so old?
In my 20s, 30s and 40s I had life
by the tail, active and productive,
breaching horizons and
accomplishing significant things.
Thought I had all the time in the world.

In my 50s I could still run the track,
bench press 225 and make love with
all the passion of a younger man.
Old age was never on my mind.

In my 60s I could still walk without
a limp, climb medium mountains
and date woman 20 years younger.
Trying to ignore my bodies ever
increasing aches and pains.

In my early 70s, old age descended
upon me like some pernicious thief,
diminishing and stealing my physical
and intellectual strengths.

And yet at 75, in my minds eye,
I still think and feel like I am 25,
or so I try to delude myself.
Though my physical body does
stubbornly, remind me otherwise.
Dating women of any age is definitely,
completely off my mind. Preferring a
single man's life of unchallenged tranquility.

In the sum total of a persons allocated
few decades of life what remains are
wonderful vivid memories, of love
given and received, of children born,
and of natures beauty seen and felt
from climbing lofty mountain peaks.
Of a life lived that seems all too brief.

Make no mistake, life flies by like a
speeding commuter train on a one
way track, with absolutely no return
tickets being purchased or issued at
any worldly price.
If you don't believe life is
too short, just ask me and
I will tell you different.

My long term memory
is fine but try as I may I
can not recall what I had
for lunch yesterday, or
dinner either.
Stephen E Yocum Dec 2020
Nero fiddled while Rome Burned,
the fires set at his bequest. And
Trump plays golf while no one
steers our Ship of State and
thousands of Americans die from
his wanton dereliction of duty,
lacking even an once of human
empathy or concern. A common
trait of Mad Kings Dictators Fools.
Trump knows he lost the election,
he is just running his last great con
on his brain dead believers, the forever
Snake Oil Salesman picking the pockets
of his faithful follower rubes, to pay his
mounting debts and feather his nest.

In these two self anointed emperors
I can see very little difference, one
just as evil and bad as the other.
up date 1/6/21
Now like Nero,
Trump will try
to burn his Rome
down as well. That
is what Mad Kings do.
Stephen E Yocum Dec 2020
Sitting for an hour by
his bed watching him
deep in slumber,
so peaceful, so still, a
little blond haired boy
with a glistening tiny
trail of night drool from
his angelic mouth coursing
down one pink cheek,
generated no doubt by
his gentle snoring.

His every breath heard
and registered, as if they
were magical gifts to us
both from another realm.

What Childs dreams
must he be having?
What green fields does
he run with that spotted
old dog of his, who licks
his face clean of ice cream
or peach juice and never
leaves his side. Who fetches
a ball for as long as his little
boy will throw it.

Everything about his
Childs face makes me
smile. He turns six next
week, oh my how these
years have flown by.

My son, I never thought I
could love anyone as much
as I do you. As much as I
forever will.

There in that darkened room
a cold chill of momentary fear
ran through me, and I asked
myself, "Can I do this?
As a single parent, can I
raise my son all alone?"
Dec, 2020
Thinking back looking at old
photo albums, remembering
my little boy, 45 years old now
a wonderful grown man, and a
father, and still my best friend.
I hear from my daughter in
law he still drools a little in
his sleep. And snores much
louder. My fears back then
were for not. We successfully
raised each other.
Stephen E Yocum Dec 2020
Returning from the grocery store,
my only trip out in weeks,
I passed by our small town's
High School, all pandemic
deserted and shuttered now.

Slowing, I stopped my car,
taken by momentary joyfulness,
out there in bright blue Band
uniform on the football field,
a single drummer marched
all alone,

Her enthusiastic snare drum  
echoing out stirring, lonely
rhythmic staccato sounds.

This solitary stalwart drummer
practicing in the rain, rehearsing
skillful steps and robust drum
beats, until she gets the call.

Remaining ever ready when
normalcy reluctantly comes rolling
back around. Where marching bands
and football players once again tread
upon this nearly hallowed ground.
Hope lives within us all,
this dire time too shall pass.
  Nov 2020 Stephen E Yocum
Anais Vionet
Girls have naughty thoughts,
like boys, but we're better at
hiding evidence.
If people could read thoughts - we'd all be in trouble.
  Nov 2020 Stephen E Yocum
Anais Vionet
Sometimes I stick out from my friends a bit - I think. It’s the French in me. Americans have this excité-ment about things - that’s, well, exhausting.

Sometimes, when friends are jumping about, they practically plead for my engagement. I think I have a genetic, French reticence, an observer gene.

True, I have my moments of bitter COVID lock-down angst but I'm doing better than some friends. Maybe because the French live slowly - life is just moments - once a moment has passed, it’s gone.

I wait, in my secret gardens, like a cat on a settee, sipping small pleasures. The poet in me refuses to zone out - there are poems in the stillness.
Funny how our heritages, and our parents shape our outlook
  Nov 2020 Stephen E Yocum
Anais Vionet
When it stopped and I saw the target, a handsome 16 year old, part of me wanted to jump up and run. This party wasn’t with my usual friends - except my BFF Kim was there. These kids were 15 and maybe 16. I had just turned 14. We had been invited by an older girl-friend.

I couldn’t have been more nervous - the party had turned just short of terrifying - but there’s no way on God’s earth that I could chicken out. John and I shuffled towards each other on our knees.

He’s taller and as we drew together he bent toward me and I looked up - our lips touched, I felt his warm breath - WOW, his lips were soft.. I had to force myself not to pull back - my heart was pounding with the fear of embarrassment - what if he stopped - like, YUCK, and declared the whole idea an impossibly silly joke??

He didn’t - after a second I felt his strong left hand gently on the back of my head and he slightly rotated my head to the right and - OH, YEAH - we were able to draw deeper into the kiss (I’d seen that in MOVES - now I understood). His lips were so smooth, slightly slippery and warm - I was breathing WAY deeper then and felt a twining in interesting places.

His right hand pressed my lower back and he fetched me closer and, boy, we REALLY fit - I felt my ******* pressed to his chest - I wasn't sure what to do with my hands - they were sort of out to the side. His tongue fleetingly touched my lips and the tickle was electric.

My lips parted a little - he drew me even closer - his tongue playfully connected with mine and I seemed to short circuit - I drew in breath sharply, through my nose - which sounded enormously loud to me. WOAH, this was getting intense, I put my palms to his shoulders - should I push away??

“Time!,” the girl timing the kiss called.

We stopped actively kissing and he started easing off the pressure holding us together - I leaned back on his hands a bit as I searched for balance. Our kiss-seal broke and I gasped a little, which fortunately, sounded like a laugh and everyone laughed as we pulled apart. I glanced at his face and he was smiling warmly - I blushed explosively and looked down.

I put my right hand on my skirt as I scooched back in place and someone placed the bottle back on the center of the circle.

I was still looking down because I could tell my face was beet-red but my eyes found Kim, I smiled and give her a telepathic holy-COW. My first REAL kiss.

I left the circle before someone could spin me. There's no way that I was going to do that again.
Hasn't everyone played "spin the bottle" at least once?
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