He sat next to me, slightly slumped over

From the years of boulders piling upon his shoulders

But still seemed as resilient and sturdy as an oak tree

With wrinkles, like the bark, nestled in gently beside his eyes

Providing proof that he once laughed hard enough to cry

And white hair wrapping around the sides to the back of his aged skull

Like a mountain range hiding the village of wisdom he secluded in his mind

We talked about aging and how people expect a linear progression

But he wrung his calloused hands together

Turned his stare to the floor beneath his over worn boots and said,

“You will watch your parents and their parents age

While taking notes of their degenerating health

But what I have come to realize is that everyone ages differently

No matter how ready or prepared you think you may be.”

SW 03/2018

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