Thirty and Thirty-Five

I read and enjoyed “Seventy-Two is Not Thirty-Five” by David Budbill in The Writer’s Almanac today. It reminded me of a poem I wrote about Thirty-Five, contrasted not with an older age but a younger. Now that I’m nearing thirty-seven, it seemed as good a time as ever to post the poem.

Thirty and Thirty-Five
by Julia Tindall Bloom

Thirty is starting a mountain climb
Unaware of the mountain
Straining forward
Wondering why the old habit of putting one leg in front of the other
Has gotten so hard.
Thirty is feeling age’s breath on your neck
And catching glimpses of death
On the horizon.

Thirty-five is getting to the top
Discovering you were climbing
Looking down
Over the terrain you traversed
The lay of the land of your life
So far
And finding it a more expansive place
Than you knew at the time
It is also
Noticing there are higher mountaintops
And plenty more land
Up ahead
In front of death
It is resting on the mountaintop
While age climbs and catches up with you
Until she joins your journey
And you are friends.

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