By Jim Harrison
The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn’t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there’s no chain.
Source: Poetry (September 2008).
I used to have this poem up on my wall at work. It has been one of my favorites over the last few years. It’s funny how perspective changes. It used to gently tug at my heart and make me wonder if age had swept past me. It gave me a melancholy feeling. Now, at this point in my life, I feel like I have caught up. It is now a poem that brings me joy as I think of my current circumstances. Now there’s no chain. It’s very interesting how perspective changes in life.