I wrote this poem after going for a walk in my neighborhood in Walla Walla, Washington. My husband and I were renting a house at the time in an area just outside the part of town that had been gentrified. That was one of the most dynamic, quirky and heterogeneous neighborhoods I had ever lived in. It was there that, at age forty, I first felt the ceaseless pull of life and the desire to be part of the world.
Here I Am, More than Halfway Through My Life
convinced I know everything about everything,
especially myself. Yet now, walking along
the street that leads to my rental house,
I see the world as if for the first time—
not exalted or holy or even beautiful—
but as this: a yard full of weeds higher than
corn stalks; broken glass that gleams
against asphalt, signaling recent theft.
I see leaves with dead and dying edges,
diseased trees whose voids I could slide
my whole arm inside. Here I am, more than
halfway through my life, and I find myself
suddenly leaning into all of it so I might whisper,
I love you, I love you. Don’t leave me.
“Here I Am, More than Halfway Through My Life” first appeared in Press 1. All original work on my site is protected by copyright. If you would like to use or adapt a piece, please contact me for permission.