A poem for Thursday

I had a birthday yesterday. I wasn't in the best mood for it, really, though many lovely people said and did many lovely things (thank you!) I've reached the age where I have to think before I can answer what age I am. Sometimes, I even do the math, subtracting the year of my birth from the year we're in. And the answer matters and it doesn't matter. And though I'm not 38, yet, this poem was on my mind. By W. S. Merwin.

In the Winter of My Thirty-Eighth Year
It sounds unconvincing to say
When I was young
Though I have long wondered what it would be like
To be me now
No older at all it seems from here
As far from myself as ever

Walking in fog and rain and seeing nothing
I imagine all the clocks have died in the night
Now no one is looking I could choose my age
It would be younger I suppose so I am older
It is there at hand I could take it
Except for the things I think I would do differently
They keep coming between they are what I am
They have taught me little I did not know when I was young

There is nothing wrong with my age now probably
It is how I have come to it
Like a thing I kept putting off as I did my youth

There is nothing the matter with speech
Just because it lent itself
To my uses

Of course there is nothing the matter with the stars
It is my emptiness among them
While they drift farther away in the invisible morning
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