Fathom Mag

Seventy-Seven Years

Published on:
March 9, 2023
Read time:
1 min.
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Geologically, I am a newborn baby
just opening his eyes to the world.
Emotionally I am less than my years,
in need of more intensive intimacies.
Spiritually I am nothing but a beginner
in a quest for an intimation of God.
Physically I am a lean and wrinkled body
during early snow flurries of my winter.

When basking in my mother’s womb,
WWII was in its final death throes,
death camps cramming to kill more,
an ecstatic delirium of finally peace.
Born at 8 AM on a September morning,
I joined the legions emerging that day
into the hard light of a savaged world
full of regrets and a craving to live again.

Now 77 years on, and here I still am,
like a hooting and wailing loon alone
among a bizarre accumulation of years
that my naked face portrays so well,
knowing I am seen by the spring people
as just another anonymous old grandfather
when my enthusiasm is as spirited as ever,
but with more calm urgency than before.

Alan Altany
Alan Altany is a partially retired, septuagenarian college professor of religious studies and theology. He has been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance worker, high school teacher, small magazine of poetry editor, director of religious education for churches, truck driver, and novelist, among other things. In 2022 he published a book of poetry entitled A Beautiful Absurdity:  Christian Poetry of the Sacred (https://www.alanaltany.com/).
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Cover image by Kenny Eliason.

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