Men at Forty

Men at Forty Men at forty Learn to close softly The doors to rooms they will not be Coming back to.

At rest on a stair landing, They feel it Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship, Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors The rediscover The face of the boy as he practices trying His father’s tie there in secret

And the face of that father, Still warm with the mystery of lather. They are more fathers than sons themselves now. Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound Of the crickets, immense, Filling the woods at the foot of the slope Behind their mortgaged houses.

~ Donald Justice