The Miserable Old Sod's Appeal

Nostalgia always sounds, to me, like a chronic sickness.

To be treated with, vile unguements,

Massage and a warm compress.

But it never will be healed.

Those who are sentimental, wistful and whimsical.

Should face cold quarantine

On some distant arctic island hell.

Until the chuckling cockles of their hearts freeze over.

They are like mindless birds whose hunger never ceases.

Feeding on the fat white maggots of memory.

While my gorge rises.

No amount of my telling will be heard.

So if you feel you must wander

On the sunlit paths and lanes of your memory

Then take the dog, your lover, or some other.

Or wrap up well, for a cold wind blows in my mind.

I would also like to wake in the milky warmth of the world, once new.

To touch again the faces of the fading ones.

And to laugh again the laughter, as fresh as the dew.

But darker memories lurk in the stormy reaches of regret.

Leave me then to the fragile and bitter mercies of the present.

For my memories have teeth and knives to tear us both,

And I won’t air the memories you would later resent.

With the wormwood aftertaste of defeat and despair.

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