It should be easy to grow
old, day after day, buffeted
by the seasons like a barn

standing—like the tree it was—
with character, weathered veins
of roughcut 1 x 12s showing

in certain light. The storms
have names we have forgotten
now, but we are not afraid

of what we have survived,
not even the sounds of strain
that creak in our timbers.

We spend years preparing
for a simple life without
knowing it, stripping away

the weight of our ornaments
and obsessive diversions
to put a shoulder into the wind.

And braced with a stiff drink,
we grin again into the face
of the next storm coming.

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