Mark DeFoe, "The Desperate Acts of Aging Men"




Have pity on the desperate acts of aging men

as they scramble for a candle to burn 

at both ends. Now, when they are fading, claim

you admire their dreams, though they be tattered,

uncouth, spun of the saddest cloth. They will

crave to take flying lessons, splash loud on canvas, 

flail on cheap guitars, master the tango, 

bluff their way through high-stakes hold em, crank out

rambling novels, fall for total bimbos.


Step away and wait. They stand on the edge 

of perpetual endings, the crumbling of what 

once had started out so well. They will calm, 

become sweet old fellows with a twinkle,

still sharp as a tack. Have pity. Have pity.


Mark DeFoe's recent work appears in Borderlands, Café Review, Tulane Review, Appalachian Heritage, Santa Fe Literary Review, English Journal, and elsewhere.