“The Old Me” by William Walsh

William Walsh


Tuesday there was a knock on the front door
that broke up my marriage with the mattress.

I felt compelled to answer
and there I was standing on the other side
of the door
through expensive cut glass
but thirty years younger.

Stepping outside to welcome
my 20/20 vision back where it belonged,
the younger me
threw a pie in my old face
then ran down the street
hooting and hollering
shedding articles
of clothing
until all I saw
was a firm
naked butt of a guy
I hardly remember.

He was much faster
but still, I ran after him
with chunks of pie falling
off my face (at least he remembered
peach) and I yelled out to him, “Wait!
There’s so much I need to tell you
about what to expect, especially
that girl from New Mexico.”

But he did not stop
and I don’t think he was listening.

Down the street
there was a beautiful young girl
running naked toward him,
her light brown hair
flowing everywhere.
And running behind her, an old bag
of a woman I slightly recognized.

The younger me drove off
with the younger her
in a yellow Volkswagen
convertible, Night Ranger
blaring out “Sister Christian”
from a pair of new speakers.

“Take me
with you,” I yelled.

Her hand gripped the knob
of the stick shift
and as he clutched,
she shifted gears
for him in perfect
automotive harmony.

They were laughing
—not at me—
but for the future.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012
Tribute to Law Enforcement Poets

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