Near

Near middle age
I find myself
talking often
of the wild ones
from my youth
who vanished
just to reappear
as survivors in
parents’ obituaries.
Scattered across
the country
I imagine them
lawless still,
on the run,
colorful pushpins
in a manhunt map.
Sometimes
in obit photos
the dead
are younger
than I
ever imagined
their reckless
offspring
would ever
live to be.

6 Responses to “Near”

  1. This totally has to be about A & E.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Oh my…this makes me worry a little bit about the clarity of the piece…? It’s about the friends you knew when you were young growing up, being far away, calming down, and their parents dying as the reckless friends of my youth grow into old people themselves. No?

      • Well, I can see that too. I took the first lines Near middle age
        I find myself
        talking often
        of the wild ones
        from my youth
        who vanished
        just to reappear
        as survivors in
        parents’ obituaries.
        And I thought of you and I as young children. Those young children have disappeared (so you could say they have died) only to be replaced by the next generation who reappeared and look and act just like us.

        • sethdellinger Says:

          Oh, I see! Yes I suppose it can definitely be taken that way. I was trying to keep it as simple as possible, linguistically, but I may have kept it too simple (simply making “friends” instead of “ones” might help.

  2. i thought it was clear in its subject matter. of course, I can’t think of any specific people in my life who could be filed into such a category…yet.

    but what I really wanted to say was that I like the use of ‘younger’ in the last sentence. there’s no GOOD way to say what you mean, but how you’ve said it, I know what you mean, and I can’t think of a better way of putting it. It catches the essence of that weird feeling, and sometimes you just have to trust the reader to do some of the work for you.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Yeah that final thought is certainly not an easy one. It will require the reader to go back and kind of make a mental map of the idea, but sometimes you have to force an audience to take a little more time.

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