The passing of age

To be older is not
to be aged or antique
or ancient or passé
or frail or forsaken
or to be dyed
in the wool

or to be mutton
dressed as lamb

To be older is neither
to be forgotten
nor remembered
nor to have lines drawn
across the forehead
or circles under the eyes
or to be a big noise
or to suffer in silence
or to be seated
in the corner
with curtains closed
nor to eat bread
without crust
nor to be butter
without jam

To be older is neither
to deny nor to affirm
nor to chatter without teeth
nor to put duty before love
nor to sleep with all the angels
nor to rearrange the stars
nor to believe in the past

to be older is not a vocation
nor a vacation nor an excuse
for a reason
nor a missed opportunity
nor an opportunity
not to be missed
to be older is to be younger
as time goes by 

John Lyons


Corrected version

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