April PAD Challenge: Day 23

It’s hard to believe that a week from today I’ll be posting the last prompt of the month. We’re already almost a month older than we were at the end of March. Time just continues to fly by–even in a poetry challenge, huh?

Well, today’s prompt is sympathetic of the fact that time continues its march and that things continue to change and stay the same all at once. Today’s prompt is to write about getting older.

No matter your age, everyone gets older with every. single. second. and. heart. beat. Seriously, even my 4-year-old laments over how he’s getting older and misses the good old days of not going to preschool and having “to learn stuff.”

So, you can lament over your glory days, express your insecurities of being in transition, or brag about how you’re at the perfect age to live life completely content (lucky you). I’m guessing y’all will have a lot of fun with this one.

Here’s my poem for the day:


“Your hard work will pay off today.”
                       -Fortune Cookie

Sometimes I wonder if today is the day
that everything comes together, and I
get the raise and the girl and the parade
through downtown. Is this when I get
my “pay off” for trying? But then, I think
maybe my “pay off” comes every day.
Maybe it’s simply the process of getting
from here to there. Maybe my “pay off”
is hard work and two boys who love me,
that moment outside the laundromat
late at night, listening to her voice and
the stillness of a spring evening suddenly
broken by bikers cruising the streets
on their hogs. I’m still just a teenager
at heart and in love with the world, but
sometimes I wonder if today is the day.


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187 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge: Day 23

  1. Linda H.

    Oops! Rereading all the poems and noticed errors in my first one. He is corrected version.

    30.04.2008 09:11:46 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
    This is all I could must up today. Time is short and so is this poem!!

    When I was a young,
    athletic, size 3 teenager,
    I was often scorned for
    throwing off the test curve.

    Now, much older and larger,
    working endless hours,
    no time for exercise,
    I scold myself
    for the curves I have.

    Linda Hofke |LNSHOFKEAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

  2. Linda Hofke

    In my school years
    I used to skip rope with my friend.
    I used to do jumping jacks to no end.
    I used to play hopscotch, bending down
    To pick up the stone from the ground.
    I used to run miles with the team.
    I used to be a fit, skinny-minny teen.
    You could say I was a walking stick.

    In my adulthood
    I often find the need to skip a meal
    Or hastily eat while behind the wheel.
    I can jump to conclusions way to soon.
    I run errands in the afternoon.
    I sometimes like to bend the rules.
    My exercise these days is miniscule.
    You could say I am a walking thick!

  3. Yoli


    In deepest dark of night
    Amongst all the fright
    To preserve life we fight.

    And beyond all that die
    And those left who cry
    Left to wonder how and why

    No matter what we do or say
    The night ends-
    Time begins a new day.

  4. Linda Hofke

    This is all I could must up today. Time is short and so is this poem!!

    When I was a young,
    size 3, athletic teenager,
    I was often scorned for
    throwing off the test curve.

    Now, must older and larger,
    working endless hours,
    no time for exercise,
    I scold myself
    for the curves I have.

  5. Barbara Torke

    The prompt for a poem being aging
    On my 69th birthday
    I anticipate seventy
    for seventy has more credence
    As I pedal across the membrane
    That separates alive from life
    Balancing mind and body
    With a wobbling pole of words

  6. Carol A Stephen

    Another Birthday

    Another layer of touchup
    and lipstick, line cream

    a mask to hide the truth
    of passing years.

    She remembers when
    her well-turned ankles turned heads.

    Now they just crack,
    along with knees
    when she tries to move too fast.

    Another birthday.

  7. Justin M. Howe

    The Great River Time

    Time flows by like the swift current
    of an eternal river
    Time ebbs and flows, never warning
    when it will speed up
    Or when



    Is this illusion?
    I don’t think so
    We are the masters of reality
    I just think most of us get it wrong
    We cling to the bad times
    While releasing the good

    All the while resenting the
    reality we create

    -Justin M. Howe

  8. Kate

    Hard Season

    All winter I carry this heavy freight,
    bolts of silk opalescent as pearls,
    heartbeats echoing at three am, bright
    kimonos like creamy blossoms, the promise
    of years left, and all that might not be.

    Traversing high desert plains, beneath my feet
    the land is barren, dirt and stone where the wind
    has swept away the snow. How I hunger for spring,
    that first glimpse is all that keeps me moving,
    still the scent of sage rises up around me, divine.

  9. M. Schied

    One trillion seconds

    I once tried to count to a million

    I never made it past one hundred sixty-three

    So how to count all the seconds of my life
    most people count the firsts, but I want to remember
    the things that were good enough the first time
    to warrant having seconds

    A second dance with the boy I adore
    his arm around my waist as sentimental notes
    create a melodic mist around us

    A second apartment, a second chance to
    strike out on my own, the feeling of freedom
    provided by the knowledge no mother
    is haunting your shoulder

    A second read through the book you wish you could write
    if only God had wanted you to be a writer

    A second chance to teach the youth of tomorrow
    a second time to reach them, and touch their lives
    for the better
    a second face lit up with understanding
    and gratitude

    And future seconds I also wish for

    A second boy to adore, a man who will
    hold his arm around my waist
    as the sentimental strains of Mendelssohn
    serenade us down the aisle

    A second mother to haunt my shoulder
    caring for me even as I express my freedom

    A second child to show me it is possible
    to impart wonder to the tomorrow of your youth
    and that your own face can light up with
    and love

    A second chance to write the book God wanted
    you to write

    the book of life
    page after page of glorious


  10. Laural

    Over the hill
    Is a patch of reflection
    A pool of insight
    A tree of new slants
    A river of perspectives
    The grey of black-and-white
    The overview.

    Don’t leave the top
    And keep going
    Until you’re ready.
    When you arrive
    On the other side,
    You’ll have become
    a sage.

  11. Lorien Vidal

    I am sooooooo behind on my "homework" – unfortunately there was a death in my family. My mother-in-law passed away on Wednesday morning from cancer so last week was kind of a roller-coaster.

    Life is a Lesson

    Upon the first light in our eyes
    We see a vision overwhelming
    The sights and sounds
    So bright and loud
    It’s hard to make sense of everything at once
    As we branch out
    And our skins toughen like bark
    We manage the all-at-once
    One at a time and single-minded
    For the hard knocks
    We leave our mommies uncried-for
    For we earn and learn
    As pages turn, one at a time
    We can read and weep
    As all the years creep

  12. Jay Sizemore


    Much like the spine
    of a paper back book
    will crack and crease
    the more it is opened,
    loved by hands and eyes
    in the diffuse light
    of a bed side lamp,

    how the pages’ scent
    will change from crisp
    and clean to the musty
    odor of pipe smoke,
    libraries stacked in the lumbar
    vertebrae of a whale’s skeleton
    picked clean by the gulls
    on some beach
    where the only currency
    is sound,

    much like the dust
    of dead cells sloughed
    will coat the furniture
    with a second skin
    like an afghan
    of microscopic weavings
    so that every shelf
    and every book
    has a piece of its owner,
    a perennial jacket sleeve,

    things will continue
    with or without
    my fingerprints at the scene,
    with or without
    my hair in the drain,
    with or without
    the sound of my footsteps
    or the smell
    of my body wash
    lingering in the shower.

    If the clock stops ticking
    just change the battery.

  13. Rebecca

    Thirty and flirty?

    Sex in the City says now is the time
    To grab what you can get with all
    The gusto you can muster.

    But like a dark storm brewing on the horizon
    My friends cower in cubicles and at desks
    Waiting with foreboding for their 3rd decade.

    I, on the other hand, have come into my
    own at last. No more hiding behind
    shapeless "artistic" clothing

    No more wishing that my intellect would
    Dull to the common mental brilliance
    No more squinting at the fine print

    I dance in red fishnets and black high heels
    Whirling to the rhythm of salsa and swing
    Laughing at partners in wingtips and fedoras

    I stand tall in black wool sweaters and
    striped trousers before students who
    shout "Hey Ms. WB!" down crowded halls.

    Greeting newcomers by name in the atrium
    Of a music school cum sanctuary, welcoming
    Diversity into an urban, ancient worship.

    Like the wise woman of Proverbs this age
    Does not scare me and 30 means I am just
    Beginning… I can laugh at the days to come.

    Welcome home! My soul has found its rest
    In a size 14/16, with Ashley’s best bob swinging,
    Eyes flashing, wit sparkling, and poetry falling from
    My fingertips.

  14. Tad Richards

    I’m not sure whether I
    can still maintain an
    it’s been four days
    since it last got that hard

    don’t know what that means
    maybe I
    just haven’t been
    paying it attention
    thinking impure thoughts

    or maybe
    that’s not enough
    anymore any more
    than my old right hand
    maybe I

    need the real thing
    that girl on the cell phone
    saving it for her
    or maybe
    she wants me to

    wait till our rendezvous
    she’ll send the signal
    maybe I
    should pack condoms
    and head for the border

  15. Judy Roney


    Cells de-plump
    valleys show up
    every thing hangs
    each day there is pain
    I know the advantage
    I have the wisdom to know
    growing old suck.

  16. Hope Greene

    Really only thirty and already
    My mates are falling around me
    Like it’s harvest time and we’re ripe
    For it.

    If you can read a book
    Then all of this is spelled out on
    The leaves by all the hands and
    all the eyes
    That thought to write life.

    All of the buds swelling to leaf,
    All the houses smashed by the wars,
    The grief-span of any day under
    Mortal control-and also
    The uncontrollable joy. And

    I have to ask, How may times
    Will I make my song
    On the lip of the grave
    Before my half-written leaf

    But this is what I was created to be
    In the mutable score of eternity,
    A mote that speaks once
    And then is silent.

  17. Darla Smith


    I’ll be turning another year older
    this year on Friday the 13th of June.
    My hair is sprinkled with gray,
    soon I’ll dye it black once again.
    My eyesight is worsening each year,
    I must wear glasses to read and write.
    Although I grow older each year,
    deep within I’m still young at heart

  18. LindaTK

    On Getting Older

    It’s all relative,
    this getting older thing.
    Conception to cell division
    constitutes getting older.
    Each nanosecond that passes
    means getting older.
    However, all things considered,
    this getting older thing
    is getting personal.
    My physical self is kicking
    and screaming, "Put the brakes on!"
    Elder, Senior, Crone…
    I can sum that one up in two words:
    It Sucks.
    My spiritual self sees it differently.
    Inside I am young.
    Getting older has meant
    learning, growing, appreciating and
    getting closer to a better understanding
    of what we are.
    Spirit, Soul, Connected…
    I can sum that one up in two words as well:
    It’s fascinating.

  19. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    The Pleasures of the Elderly

    The Prodigal Son and the Second Stepson
    have both done their holiday visits and gone.
    Finally it’s just we two again,
    enjoying indulgences they never saw
    though they could have done.
    "Behind closed doors," accused the Prodigal.
    But no, it’s just that each slept late
    and the guestroom door was the one kept shut.

    At breakfast time we feed the cats
    then bring our own meal back to bed.
    We lean on layers of pillows
    and read to each other from "Conversations With God".
    The bedroom door’s wide open.
    The cats come in and jump on the bed.
    They snuggle up and smooch, they purr and settle.
    When you’re 40, this probably isn’t exciting.

    © Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

  20. Bonnie MacAllister


    When I lived at 12th and Spruce,
    We never left the apartment,
    But if we did it was to find supplies,
    Often we called out for delivery.
    My sweetest visitors would bring bouquets,
    An audio track, a message.

    Monica would buzz up,
    And I’d flick a switch.
    She’d rise in the old cage,
    Use her own key to open us up.
    Then she’d sink with me onto the futon.

    The cat would hurry to turn her to black and white,
    Purring on her work clothes.
    We would squeal when Matthias
    Would bring us blue haired dolls
    From the neighborhood porch sale.
    The mustached man told him it was his mother’s.
    We used it as a prop or a discard.

    Last I heard Matthias was left to suffer
    In a California alley behind some club.
    He’d always complained of a tapeworm
    And had left to seek medical attention.
    No one helped him as he cried out.
    We suspect it was a gay bashing.

  21. Anahbird

    Good Old Days

    I remember
    The good old days
    When I didn’t
    Have to worry
    About anything
    Life was simple
    Health was good
    Work was something
    Your parents did
    But now
    I look around
    And see
    A painful body
    Days full of
    And work
    An miss
    The carefreeness
    Of being a child
    Once more.
    An older man
    Looks down at me
    And laughs, saying
    “You’re just a kid!”

  22. Lyn

    being vital is a state of mind
    though I must accept physical limits
    imposed by well-used flesh and bone
    energy for favorite activities
    can be channeled to modify the strain
    aches and pains I didn’t notice ten years ago
    aren’t meant to stop me from living
    but to teach me respect for my abilities
    and give me joy in my accomplishments

  23. Amanda Caldwell


    Everybody is a comparison now,
    so much older or younger,
    or just the same.

    I scour imdb,
    ferret out clues in conversation,
    peruse wikipedia’s entries.

    This one is five years older,
    this one three younger,
    and this one born my year.

    This one looks better than me
    and this one worse,
    but what does that mean?

    It’s like playing Goldilocks,
    except I once was too young,
    and now am too old —

    Never just right.

  24. AlaskanRC

    This was harder then I thought it would be. I’ve been thinking alot about age, getting older, growing up, and moving on in the last couple weeks and thought it would be abit easier for me. It’s not the best I but it’s all I could come up with at the moment.

    ~Another Way to Age~

    Is it so hard to believe,
    that the young can feel old?
    Wise beyond their time?
    That true age comes in experience
    not just years?

    I am one of the young
    and I believe it’s possible and true.
    I grow old from the experiences
    I’ve lived and choices I’ve had to make.

    I watch now as my parents’ relationship
    begins to crumble on its shaky foundation
    Formed 19 years ago
    Upon the discovery that they had
    a baby girl on the way.

    I struggle near the top of my class
    as I juggle studies, work, and family
    responsibility after all I’m the oldest.
    A burden I never wanted to be.

    Graduation is my goal. College my aspiration
    Three young siblings I have and a daughter too.
    She will never know her father and I dread the day
    She asks; for telling her I can’t.

    I pray the life and loved ones she knows are enough
    to see her through her life ahead. I’ve found a young man
    who loves me for who I am, even with my shadowed past.
    Knowing why I can never tell her of her true father, he still says apart of her life he wants to be;
    a better man I do not know.

    I’ve grown old as my experiences expand
    and choices are made.
    There are people-one of them I hope to be- that life to the fullest. By experiencing such a life they grow old
    in wisdom if not age. Yet it is these people that
    when numerically aged are still among the young.

  25. Sara Diane Doyle

    I did celebrate my 30th birthday this month (on the 12th!)and while I didn’t write this poem that day, it pretty much sums up what I’ve been feeling. Not my most poetic, but that’s alright!

    On Turning Thirty

    I have now lived for three decades—
    such a nice, artistic and even
    amount of time to dwell.
    There is the first, a beginning—
    the early years when I was
    still new, still able to believe
    in everyday magic and monsters.
    There is a middle, a time
    when I struggled against myself
    and the world, but quiet and reserved
    so as not to cause waves.
    There is an end that isn’t the finish line
    but just a bookend to one shelf—
    a settling and appreciation
    of the years that came before.
    Today, I turned thirty, but really,
    I’m starting my next triple-decade
    trip through time.
    See you at sixty!

  26. Sandy Green

    Trumpet vines have nearly drowned the swing set
    on the edge of the woods,
    They don’t want us to get rid of it—
    these teenagers,
    brother and sister,
    who can’t wait to drive
    and stay out late,
    and bristle when we say: Clean your rooms—
    The swings dangle, lopsided buddies,
    where the grass has grown back
    thick and long,
    Like hair which flowed back and forth
    from a little girl as she used to swing, but
    who will leave high school next year,
    and still wants us to keep the swing set.

  27. TaunaLen

    a woman
    in my mirror
    with lines
    upon her face
    someone has been
    sketching while
    she sleeps
    each day’s page
    turns and
    is tossed aside
    like a leaf
    in the wind
    and as I
    stare at her
    she smiles
    back at me
    I think she
    knows a secret
    she explains to me
    a river doesn’t
    travel its bed
    lamenting that
    each inch
    brings it closer
    to the mouth
    of the ocean
    it flows moment
    by moment
    what it was
    meant to do
    this is the secret
    the woman
    in the mirror
    whispers to me
    each morning
    and for today
    I choose to listen

    TLS, April 2008

  28. JL Smither

    Grown up

    Unlike them,
    I chose a salary job and my own apartment
    over grad school and bartending.
    I bought a matching set of flatware,
    new. I opened a 401(k). I got another job
    and started thinking about the word “career.”
    I bought a ring and asked him to marry me.
    We bought a matching leather sofa and chair set,
    new. Now we’re talking house, kids, and
    suddenly I’m older than all my old friends.

  29. Amanda Caldwell

    Weird — the 23rd was my birthday, too! How prescient of you, Robert. Hope yours was happy, Patti! My gift to myself was to let myself skip a poem and make it up later, so that’s why I’m coming to this now. I’ve been thinking a LOT about aging, what with the birthday and all, so I’m primed and ready to go. K Weber: I love "look towards / the silver linings / peeking through / my hair"!

  30. k weber


    my lower
    discs are mostly
    gone; degenerating
    down to bone
    on bone

    i can’t cart-
    wheel like fifteen
    or even five
    summer grasses

    but i am more
    mindful of lost
    love, past missteps,
    mistakes and the need
    for calcium

    i look towards
    the silver linings
    peeking through
    my hair

  31. S. E Ingraham

    Day 23

    Memory – as essential to living as breath
    Doily Brain – the state of memory after repeated courses of
    electroshock therapy

    Her mind, sharply shaped now
    Senses gaps existing
    Like missing teeth in a perfect smile
    Their shadowy depths shimmer and shift
    Mock her,taunt,tease,tantalize
    Tell her always
    Search on and on and on
    Don’t give up; retrieval is surely imminent
    That stench…
    The acrid stink of hopelessness and false faith?
    Oh no
    Of course – she remembers this odor
    The burnt-toast smell of fried synapses
    Rendering gray matter no matter
    She knows her heart will break
    If she can just recall
    What it is she cannot recollect.


  32. Mike Barzacchini

    Because rock and roll never…uh, what was it I was saying?

    On the verge of overnight sensation
    For more than 40 years.
    Your air guitar histrionics
    Not near as precious now as then.
    Still, you may yet be discovered
    And lead a tour of assisted-living centers.
    Because tramps like you, baby,
    You were born to walk,
    Not run to the early-bird buffet.

  33. Bonnie

    Where Did the Time Go?

    He plays on the floor
    Not quite two years old
    his world is one of excitement and exploration.
    He rushes around the room, pulls dishes from the cupboards,
    just to hear them crash.
    He pours his juice out, watching as it cascades to the floor,
    falls to his belly, pats the puddle.
    He looks so much like his father did at that age.
    Where did the time go?
    Am I really old enough to have grandchildren?
    My son rushes for a rag to wipe up the spill.
    Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was wiping up his spills?
    Someday will he be looking as his own grandchildren
    and wonder, "Where did the time go"?
    Did my mom watch me with my kids
    and have the same feelings that I now feel?
    Tears fill my eyes,
    I wish she could have lived to see this little fellow.
    But the hands of time wait for no one.
    They are not gentle,
    they are not sympathetic or patient.
    So we must do all we can
    To enjoy each day we have,
    For all too quickly our lives will be nothing more
    Than a mere memory
    In the mind of another
    As they consider the question
    "Where did the time go?"

  34. Khara House

    The tree in our yard

    The tree is older, too. I’ve watched it grow
    From acorn to oak. No one grabs hold
    Of her limbs and branches
    When the winds blow and cause her
    To tremble.

    No one asks her to retire from shading the grass
    And housing the birds,
    Work she has known for years

    And years. No one tears up her roots
    And plants her in new forestry
    With twittering sparrows and roaming cats
    To sturdy and study.

    The tree in our yard
    Stands steady and strong
    Let alone—
    To grow and grow and grow.