When I was sixteen
I was fair haired, blue eyed,
long legged, coltish -
or so they told me.
Old photographs confirm it.
Other boys looked at me,
but I read my books and kept to myself,
when I was sixteen.

When I was twenty-four
I was full of myself,
brimmed up with attitude -
or so they told me.
Old diaries confirm it.
I was too impressed with my own ideals
to recognize anyone else's reality,
when I was twenty-four.

When I was thirty-six
I was tailored, groomed, and sleek.
A force to be reckoned with -
or so they told me.
Old clippings confirm it.
I had no time for messy entanglements
I assured myself proudly,
when I was thirty-six.

When I was forty-eight
 I felt the cold and the strain,
and shrugged these off to keep pushing -
better slow down, they told me.
Old spreadsheets confirm it.
It was hard to do everything myself,
but I wouldn’t ask for help
when I was forty-eight.

When I was sixty-two
the hostile takeover didn’t trouble me
as much as the pain in my gut -
six months, they told me.
The films confirmed it.
I wasn’t ready to give it up
but they sent me home to die,
when I was sixty-two.

When I awaken every morning
I count each passing day,
and tally all my achievement -
yet there’s no one to tell,
and none to confirm it