The Centenarian

The Centenarian

Karen Pape

His life began with a century
and now he’s greeted a new one
from the compost of his life he
writes gardens full of blossoms
and weeds that go into the heap
at his study door. He is bent now
has buried three wives. All his
children are old. He has fought
in war and has lived to tell hard
secrets to anyone who cares
to hear. This is a poet who grows
verse like roses, who, when it
is time, turns the fertile ground
for another season’s planting.