The Last of the Ending in Zero Poems

I started this tradition
forty years ago
on another birthday that ended in zero.
That seemed like a big one
at the time
for it was the big three oh.
Not long from the hippie days
and the hippie phrase
“Don’t trust anyone over thirty”.
It seemed like some mystical passing
to adulthood
or something kin to that.
It wasn’t but the feeling of the loss
of youth was there.
Somehow, that poem disappeared.
I have the three that followed
written at forty, fifty, and sixty
but not that first one.
Lost like so many things
from my past.
Detritus from a non-linear life.
Of them all,
the one from fifty was the best
and it was by far.
“A Penguin Looks at Fifty”.
How fitting that all was.
And this one will have its notoriety as well.
Not for being the best
but for being the last.
There is no way there will be an eighty.
Hell, I’m not sure
there’ll be a seventy and a month.
There are just too many lit fuses
burning merrily along.
Most of them lit many years ago
and allowed to smoke and sizzle
just beyond my vision.
I just didn’t care to put them out.
Don’t care now either.
The search for meaning has lost its way.
And the thought of a legacy
has become a matter of ridicule.
None of that matters.
I thought there was some secret
to finding home—maybe caught up
by what it meant to my mother.
I even thought that maybe returning
to East Texas
near the spots that held so much meaning
for her would help.
It did not.
It can not.
For what was home to her
is not home for me.
In my solitude and introspection
I know what home is for me.
I know that it beckons
I don’t see it as the place of joy
that my mother knew.
Just as a place of peace.

Michael Mathews
July 17th, 2019
8:43 PM In my RV on the lake
Nearer to home every day