On Aging

When you see me sitting quietly,

Like a sack upon the shelf,

Don’t think I need your chattering.

I’m listening to myself.

Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!

Hold! Stop your sympathy!

Understanding, if you got it,

Otherwise, I’ll do without it!

When my bones are stiff and aching

And my feed won’t climb the stair,

I will only ask one favor,

Don’t bring me no rocking chair.

When you see me walking, stumbling,

Don’t study and get it wrong.

‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy

And every goodbye ain’t gone.

I’m the same person I was back then,

A little less hair, a little less chin,

A lot less lungs and much less wind.

But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

                                           —Maya Angelou


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