I have a friend who lives with his mom

and loves working out

he buys clothes, from time to time

watches tv

but mostly, he works out.

He hasn’t changed in 20 years

Maybe, none of us do

My boss is interested in working

in making things run

My colleagues run, as slow as possible

they’re all women

they enjoy, wine tasting, gossip, and complaining

if I join in, they say, “We made you into a woman.”

and perhaps, they’re right, but it’s hard to know how a man acts

when women are everywhere.

My friend keeps surviving

My other friends are thriving, according to an unspoken standard—maybe, high school reunions

but at these 5- and 10-year milestones

all I hear are sheepish confessions, “I’m 45 pounds over-weight.”

My friend practices simplicity

he doesn’t control anything beyond his body

his blood work is perfect

his blood pressure is calm

he enjoys his time

while my classmates worry

Maybe he’ll stay out of the nursing home, past 100

I heard someone say, “a complicated life keeps you young.”

We are apt to believe, what makes us feel good

“Then I’m old,” I said, “very old.”

and my friend will turn the lights out

on the universe.

2 thoughts on “What Keeps Us Young and Makes Us Old

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