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Thirty

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Aug. 4th, 2012 | 12:07 am

And there were lanterns, doubled in the water.

                                                            -Donald Justice, “Sadness”

I’m young, laughably young and yet I’m thirty,
Thirty-two really, but I’d like to think I’m thirty.
Years ago, I thought one day I’ll marry, around thirty.
Ten years now, already past the third
                                                           big crisis then at thirty.

We adjusted, so that breaking a certain number of promises
was okay, expectations were lowered, the promise
of a honeymoon in Europe not forgotten, each year promised
for the next, transgressions given retroactive permission.
The love letters are still lying in the drawer. There’s more than thirty

from the summer we met (the enormous phone bills
draining our meager savings), interleaved with handbills
from those first gigs in tiny black-walled clubs. Second-billed
for David Lee Roth, hair receding, we mocked him with his roadies,
come out to cull the women in their thirties.

Now we are there. A little fatter, a little puzzled
at the swans beside the lake and how they waddle,
their paces slow, laboring outside the weight of water.
We’re not bitter. We just wonder,
                                                    of the thirty

(for him, three) I could have settled with a promise,
spent a life with, paying bills
(I don’t think one is really better
than another – it’s the time that makes it so)
How is it us, now, at thirty?


______________________________________
whipchick isn't thirty any more.


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Comments {21}

Myrna

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from: myrna_bird
date: Aug. 5th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
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Live and learn. Very well done.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 5th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Thank you very much.

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Myrna

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from: myrna_bird
date: Aug. 6th, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
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I read ALL your thank yous and comments but need to keep reading other entries so this one will have to suffice. You are most gracious in replying to each and every comment!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
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I am incredibly appreciative that people are taking the time to read :)

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Myrna

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from: myrna_bird
date: Aug. 15th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
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If anyone isn't reading, they are missing out. You all rock!!

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A Sentient Being

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from: alien_infinity
date: Aug. 6th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
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Years ago, I thought one day I’ll marry, around thirty.

I'm not thirty yet, but I think I felt something similar about when I would have graduated college. :/

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 7th, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
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Isn't it funny how that happens?

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Kristen

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from: pixiebelle
date: Aug. 6th, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
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I'll be 30 in a month and wonder how that happened. I thought I'd be married with children by 30, but I'm divorced and have a dog instead. But it's not a bad life, it's better than the one I used to have :)

I liked this a lot.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Aug. 7th, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC)
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Thanks :) And I'm glad you've got a life you want instead of the one you expected :) Rough as it is right now, hang in there!

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Lose 10 Pounds of Ugly Fat...  Cut Off Your Head.

(no subject)

from: n3m3sis42
date: Aug. 7th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
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Funny how whichever side you end up on, you wonder. A friend of mine from back in the day and I were just talking about that last night.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
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The whole "road not taken" thing is so universal, I think.

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With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair

(no subject)

from: lilycobalt
date: Aug. 8th, 2012 11:53 am (UTC)
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I enjoyed the rhythms of this poem.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! I love playing with formal styles and modern subjects.

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alycewilson

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from: alycewilson
date: Aug. 8th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)
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Having not been thirty-something for two years now, I can relate.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
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I'm trying to look forward to forty, but I think it will be a challenge...so many societal expectations around it that don't seem to apply but are hard to shun!

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alycewilson

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from: alycewilson
date: Aug. 15th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
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It's weird, isn't it, how humans think that numbers with zeroes on them are so important? I'm sure when I'm 50, I'll look back at 40 and see it differently. My advice? Just be.

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notodette

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from: notodette
date: Aug. 9th, 2012 03:12 am (UTC)
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I really like this one. Especially with the theme.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :)

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

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from: halfshellvenus
date: Aug. 13th, 2012 06:21 am (UTC)
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I love the wistfulness and mild regrets here, the feeling of even at thirty having already failed some fundamental timeline toward human success.

(Not thirty anymore either, for a loooong time).

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
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Isn't it funny how no matter what our path is, we always wonder if there would have been something better down another road?

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(Deleted comment)

whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - I love how part of the power of writing is the "me, too" moment.

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