November was cloudy this year, but the sun kept vigil
just below the horizon. There was a pile of felled leaves
on the front lawn of an old cathedral. I saw an elderly man
eyeing the pile with the stained glass longing of yellow eyes.
“If I were a young man...” he assured me. I pondered this statement
in a year of silence before replying, “the old never get younger
and the young always get older so the old and the young must live
as if today were the first last day of the rest of their lives.
Its really quite clear.” The man creaked his ancient joints in accord
and burned holes in the leaves with his magnifying glass stare.
With sudden urgency he dropped the cane that had supported
seventy two years of weight and dove gracelessly
into the foliage. Just as his head reemerged from the autumnal pool,
I knew. His bifocal lenses had been lost to the leaves and he skipped home
to his mother, who would be worried sick by now.