My Perfect Age

Walking along an isolated beach looking for that perfect seashell
I happened upon a peculiar bottle of very old age I could tell
I extracted it from its nesting place half buried in the sand
Removing its top freed greenish smoke condensing into a genie man
"Fantastic" said I "This means three wishes will be mine !"
The genie laughingly replied "Still believe that old line?
I am a modern genie, in granting wishes I specialize.
One wish you'll get, the finality of which you must realize.
I can grant you the gift of being once again your perfect age.
This you have earned for freeing me from my glass cage."
The perfect age! Upon this I would need to meditate
Having lived six decades,each of which I considered first-rate
I had no immediate idea what age I thought better than the rest
Could it be age 4 or 5, when play is what I did the best
No,that's too young,one cannot appreciate the richness of life
Maybe 14 or 16..I shuddered upon memories of adolescent strife
Early 20's were a possibility, when college was the task at hand
Calculus,chemistry,French,Exams!,anxiety over a career plan
Redoing all that would be more than I could possibly stand
My thirties I recall as a time of young kids, debt, great stress
And in my forties I distinctly remember enduring a financial mess
Three children in college,four cars owned,need I say any more
Any desire to repeat my fifties goes right out the door
A decade of life goals fading,with arrival of retirement worries
The genie has grown impatient, my choice he now hurries
"I've offered you this great gift and yet you make me wait.
Choose now or you won't like what becomes your fate."
"I've heard that once freed a genie cannot to his bottle return
Seeing how large you've grown, the truth of this I now discern."
"You mortals!What ignorance!"mocks my genie disappearing inside
Quickly I reinserted the top,then tossed the bottle into the tide
"Grant your wish to the next mortal whose path you intersect."
As for me, I now realize whatever age I currently am is perfect!

Harry Edward Gilleland      08.15.01    printer friendly