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Pat Brisson

 How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
                                                                            -Satchel Paige

Some days I am 18.
The world blazes with possibility.
A song urges me to sing it aloud in public.
I love and am loved.

Some days I am 8.
The world is full of dust
and I hold the dustcloth.
Saints are real;
I know their stories by heart.

Some days I am 35.
I am everyone’s mother.
My chapped hands are proof
of my existence.

Some days I am 5.
I hold a pencil as if for the first time.
Words are everywhere.
Stories beckon.

Some days I am 44.
I am an orphan.
There is a tunnel
at the end of the light.

Some days I am 64.
The days are thick with reality.
My voice and joints crack.
The gloaming is the day’s last gift.

Some days I am ageless.
The world is so beautiful it hurts.
The world is so terrible it hurts.

This poem first appeared in Voices from Here 2: The Paulinskill Poetry Project, 2017.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Pat Brisson is a former elementary school teacher, school librarian, and reference librarian in a public library. She has been writing picture books and easy-to-read chapter books for almost thirty years and
has received the N. J. Governor's Volunteer Award in Human Services for her philanthropic work. Pat lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey; learn more about her at



Post New Comment:
Outstanding in ideas and imagery!
Posted 03/09/2019 12:07 AM
Posted 03/08/2019 07:33 PM
Such joy in this poetry. You can certainly tell that she has had and is having a thoughtful and lovely life.
Posted 03/08/2019 10:35 AM
Jean Colonomos-1:
Love the scope of this.
Posted 03/08/2019 10:33 AM
I will stay alert for the gloaming.
Posted 03/08/2019 08:36 AM
michael escoubas:
Wonderful insights Pat. Unique poem.
Posted 03/08/2019 08:27 AM
Beautifully constructed. I love the anaphora and the ending is enviable. Well done!
Posted 03/08/2019 07:51 AM
What a wonderful notion of a poem, and so well executed.
Posted 03/08/2019 05:38 AM

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