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Late

by Richard Vince

Was my youth really misspent, or
Did I get a return on my investment after all?
Midnight words still remain, years after
Their furtive ink first soaked the pages of
My teenage almost diary.

This takes me back: staring at a screen, reading
The synthetic words of real people
In whose worlds I do not live, as the day
Ticks slowly into its dying minutes.

I haven’t done this in years. Why not?

The same black ink stains the same
White paper, even though eighteen
Has somehow become thirty, and my life
Has been transformed beyond all recognition,
Save for the way I write and
The way I do not cry.

Sixth, thirteenth, twentieth, twenty third:
All etched indelibly in my memory, which is
Just as frustrating as ever.

Late nights, cold hands, indecipherable scrawl…
It’s just like the old days, only without exams
And sofa bound mind broadening discoveries.
I am young and foolish again, trying not to
Know myself or allow happiness to arrive or stay,
In spite of all that I write.

Butterfly wings move so gently; I feel
The gales of their insistence as I wonder
Where all of my time went.

03/07/2013

Author's Note: It's been years since I last posted a poem within an hour of writing it.

Posted on 03/07/2013
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 03/07/13 at 11:47 PM

Why not indeed. Outstanding.

Posted by George Hoerner on 03/08/13 at 12:05 AM

I think everyone wastes at least a part if not most of their youth. At 75 I still look back at it think of things I might have..... But it is today we should really concentrate on or use what we have left behind to help us find where we are going. Nice write.

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