Five and Fifty

J. Scott Smith

When I was five it was the strangest thing
I could hold my fingers just so
And like magic four stubby ones would spring
In between, in mid-air they'd grow

And at five when I would look at my hand
I'd imagine what it would do
When I was older and a grown up man
Be a fireman or rocket crew?

At five I would run and fly like the wind
While dreaming of flying for real
High in the sky in a plane with a friend
Up by the stars on wings of steel

Five, I later learned from my oldest son
Is the last year you are not old
As he stared aghast at fingers and thumb
More would be old, like me, I'm told

You know, at fifty it's the strangest thing
I can still see floating fingers
I can't run like the wind or anything
But the memory still lingers

I was never a cop or a fireman
And never flew on a starship
Or with a friend up high on wings of man
But the truth my young son let slip

Whether five or fifty, it is so true
When fingers and thumb aren't enough
That's old, "Like you, Dad!" he said, and he knew:
Five is easy, fifty is tough!

November 2011
Plain Text


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