To the Young Woman Attracted to an Older Man
My hair is thin, my joints are sore and stiff,
But somehow I maintain a bit of pride,
And I won't ask you to become my bride,
Although temptation begs, Why not? What if
I step into the batter's box and whiff?
What then? Will you stand proudly by my side,
Or wish I'd simply gone ahead and died,
Your hanky poised to blot a parting sniff?
No, dear. Young women need a joint that's stiff
As wood to keep them honest when a whiff
Of some bold swordsman turns their heads aside
And starts their hearts to wondering, What if?
A lionhearted fool might leave his pride
To part your tender loins before he died
And gladly sell his soul for just a sniff
Of someone far too young to be his bride.
Last night I thought of you and nearly cried,
Aware I dare not scale your onyx cliff
And that my ashes, scattered far and wide,
May someday gather 'neath your petroglyph.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, C.B. Anderson
would be pleased to hear them.
Editor's note: Other non-American readers may be as puzzled
as I was by the first line of the second stanza.
An online baseball dictionary explains: whiff: A swinging
strike (referring to the bat whiffing through the air without
contacting the ball).