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December 30, 2022

I Say Farewell to My Youth

He stands before me, awkward 

And hanging his callow head, 

Occasionally glancing askance, 

Quietly keen to be off on romps. 


We stand for a while on the 

Train platform, a late afternoon 

Sun putting a shadow-mask 

Across my eyes and nose, from 

My sloping hat. My youth shuffles 


His feet and thinks of friends I 

Used to know. He has nothing to say 

To me, and I mumble a few words: 

"Thank you. We had good times..." 


He smiles quickly, acknowledges some 

Sort of history, then glances at 

The wheels shrouded in white smoke. 

We shakes hands. Trees rustle and sigh. 


He bounds up the steps and hangs 

Leaning out to wave perfunctorily. 

I cannot wave. He intimidates me 

With his soft unfocused blaze 


Of immortality. He is a boy-man-god. 

The rail carriages shudder 

And slambang themselves around 

A bend, slowly but soon and certainly. 


I watch it go. He slips from view, intent 

On getting to his japes. A silver moon 

Sears in a daylit though dimming 

Sky. I should have known him better. 


And no, I am not dying now 

Any more than I was before. But now 

I cannot turn to him. Inexorably, 

I face as much eternity as he.   


© the author

by Clark Elder Morrow

Clark Elder Morrow, born in Philadelphia, is a published poet and essayist, whose work has appeared in: Mere Orthodoxy, The Reformed Conservative, Coffin Bell Journal, Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal, HCE (Here Comes Everyone), Blue Streak: A Journal, the Vocabula Review, and the Sand Canyon Review. His latest nonfiction book is Moral Majesty, Spiritual Splendor, published in 2021 by Wipf & Stock Publishers. Morrow is also a professional award-winning actor and radio personality, as well as a national speaker on youth-related issues. Morrow currently resides in Southern California.

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