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The Way You Grow Old

A poem

Published on:
November 22, 2017
Read time:
1 min.
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First: make long lists of what you do
not have. Do whatever it takes to get it.

Second: hurry up. Tell your children to
hurry up. Again and again and again.

But really: let your children do
as they please, whenever they please.

Meanwhile: slog, grind, slog, grind. Slog and grind
some more. So you can buy all those things.

Then: when injustice sweeps away the fruit
from the fields of the poor, say nothing.

Also: befriend the truculent. Learn
their ways. When entangled, shout louder.

Next: dwell on disputes. Answer first, then
listen. Have no mind to understand.

Finally: add field to field to field to field—
until there is room for no one but you.

And when the dry grass sinks down in the flame,
thrusting us all into the thick darkness,

remind yourself that though you
make many prayers, He will not listen.

Sara Kay Mooney
Sara Kay Mooney, an alumna of Davidson College and Teach For America, is a trained librarian currently working at an education non-profit in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she’s not giving book recommendations to friends, you can find her taking pictures, frequenting thrift stores, or laughing at her husband’s jokes, among many other things. Her writing has been featured in CT Women, Misadventures Magazine, and CharlotteFive.

Cover image by JORGE LOPEZ.

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