Roses and Thistles


I’ve disappointed a few.
A few have returned the favor;
I’m angry for a while at both of us, but
also wonder if I’m usually wrong
to expect more.

My beard is grey, but inside
is the deluded spirit of Ulysses,
yearning to go down again to the sea
in ships, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
But let me refill that cup, and from somewhere,
perhaps in my own throat—
is that a bird? or merely
the cry of a frightened child,
longing to be gentled
against the soft comforts of
undemanding love?