Sleetmagazine.com

Volume 11 • Number 1 • Spring-Summer 2019

Matthew Murrey

Fifty

What love does year
in and year out.
Adds lovely to ache
and aging. Could be grace
if I believed in grace.
To think I first saw you
in a city running
up stairs to a shelter house
when we were barely
not kids anymore. Those years
are many new lives old—
for us, two sons
who have moved away.
Oh, how my hair streaks
brown and gray. How your laugh
lines stay. And how we
walk in the evening and say
“Our light.” “Our lives.”
Past fifty there’s no way
to pretend it’s not more
than half over. Not
afraid, but still I don’t want
to die. I’d miss love.
You. We’ve told each other
we would not want
to be young again, do it over.
Too much that’s hard.
So what do you say
we just stick with now—
getting older, closer
to the truth, the tender dying?

My poems have appeared in many journals such as Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, and Rattle. I received an NEA Fellowship in Poetry a number of years ago, and my first book manuscript, Bulletproof, selected by Marilyn Nelson, will be published very soon by Jacar Press. I am a high school librarian in Urbana, Illinois where I live with my partner. We have two adult sons. My website is at https://www.matthewmurrey.net/