When I was a young man,

just barely seventeen,

I thought someday

that I might rule the world.

With everything I wished for

my life would be a song;

and everything would be just as I planned!


Oh, the dreams of a man of seventeen!


The day that I turned twenty-one

I thought the stage was set.

The road of life stretched wide

and I was free.

I saw the shine of amber eyes

and knew I’d found my queen!

The fabric of my life was nearly done!


Oh, the joy of a man of twenty-one!

The year that I turned forty

my world had come undone.

Alone I faced the winter’s discontent.

I’d gained the world of wealth

but I could not buy a friend.

Despair was all I ever hoped to see.


Oh to be a boy of seventeen!


Now, my years are eighty-three,

my eyes are growing dim.

But my memory is clear and I can see

that life does not consist

of what we see and touch.

But, rather, what we’ve given, Lord, to thee!


Oh, to be your man of eighty-three!




c.2012/Donna Swanson


About dswan2

Poet, author, columnist, lyricist, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife of 50 years. Born and raised in America's Heartland
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  1. poetryroad says:

    As always I enjoy your poetry. This is a great story about your life, I am assuming. Hope 2012 is being good to you!!!

  2. dswan2 says:

    Hey, poets don’t always write about their OWN life! Well, maybe one or two. Sometimes it’s just playing with words and idea. Thanks, anyway!

  3. Taylor says:

    what a life long progress and more.

    awesome poetry, thanks for sharing.

  4. Excellent giving – you have just given a thought to ponder. I enjoyed how you have excellently illustrated an example of one of the greatest gifts of life – to give!

  5. wordcoaster says:

    Lovely, reminds me of Martin Luther’s words, “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

  6. caridwen says:

    Thought-provoking reminder not to take youth for granted!

  7. dswan2 says:

    Thank you, friends, some very good comments here! Each one gives me encouragement and the will to post more.

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