Seventeens At seventeen, my world gleamed green and I, a lad astute and keen, believed that if I could persist no bounds or limits would exist. At thirty-four, I still could soar, although, perhaps, on wings grown sore. My world had proved a complex maze of busy nights and hazy days. By fifty-one, not yet quite done, my dreams not ruined, my race not run, I saw my body slowing down, with far more grey and deeper frown. Now sixty-eight, I still await whatever tricks capricious fate concocts to teach me not to test if I am really cursed or blessed. If I survive to eighty-five, still sound and glad to be alive, I know how grateful I shall be despite my aches and cobalt knee. At 102, if not yet through, though most I’ve known have said adieu, will I rejoice or simply keen about that lad at seventeen?
Maurice O’Sullivan, a former teamster, jail guard and pub owner, is an award-winning teacher, editor, columnist, and film maker who lives in Orlando, Florida. His most recent book, Have You Not Hard of Floryda, is a survey of 300 years of Florida’s colonial literature. www.MauriceOSullivan.com