Fragments of the past litter my thoughts,
Adolescent complaints from long ago.
Although those petty flames no longer shine,
Their shadows linger in time’s dim glow:
Useless fictions, dreams, desires, lies,
The masks I wore for work, success, protection,
Love’s nakedness—a lonely man’s disguise—
All stripped away, no more than a reflection
In clouded eyes. Unmasked by age, a man
Patient and true remains to close my years,
Mind clear to comprehend, discover, plan,
Create, and sing. Old age brings little to fear:
I will not crawl into darkness, a dying beast;
Let my soul escape, at last released.