When my father—a shy, stern man—
Died, his features were unrelenting.
I’d barely known my mother.
I was nearing twenty.

So I took up writing…but I kept
Hearing that demon Truth
Whistling over my efforts: “These effusions,
My dear boy…really…have you not done?”

I hadn’t the heart to get married, feeling
For myself only bitter contempt.
And they proved real sticklers—in-
Flexible—however much they seemed to be in ecstasy!

Which is why I gad about, dither, somehow
Survive, a weather vane buffeted by the thirty-six seasons,
Too many for me to cope with…. Take heed, I say,
Of my dismal example, O youth of today!