Midlife Crisis

by Rachel Creager Ireland

After a certain number of years—say,
fifty—it begins to appear that the thing
you’ve been doing all this time—the thing
which you thought was a minor obstacle
to be kicked aside on the way to doing
the things you came here to do—
that thing, was, in fact, the thing
you were here to do. And all those
other things, the ones you secretly
hoped for, the ones that seemed so
important that your life would have
been squandered if you spent it all
without doing them, the quest for a
glimpse of the unspeakable beauty
that formerly called to you from dreams,
all those things—nothing. Mere diversions,
vapid entertainment to dull the quotidian
ache of doing the real work.

Ah, this life will grind you down, slowly
over many years, if you’re lucky.
Stone to powder. Bone to dust. And that,
I suppose, is also the point.
Monarch fall 17-09