can we just reincarnate

wouldn’t it be great she asked
if we could just reincarnate
drop these tired, broken bodies
and step into new flesh, new bones
new sneakers and new jeans

she laughed at the thought
pulled a photo from a red clutch
as tired and worn as she was
me at sixteen
full of ambition and no direction
sixty was nowhere in my mind
my heart, my bones
like it is today

do you think age has weight
she wondered aloud
and answered herself
i do, yes i do
everything feels heavier
harder to hold up
harder to hold onto

she thinks about her uncle
and his heaviness
of heart, of mind, of body
tries to fathom his loneliness
that universal unique pain
of separation, of sorrow
the turning to one no longer there
to complain or whisper his love
just today someone said
at least she this or that
at least he something else
and it was meaningless
wasted words
and no comfort at all

she looks up suddenly and smiles
remembering she is not alone
though she has been
more often than not
more often when it mattered most
do you know how hard it is
starting over again at sixty
with new work, new wrinkles, new worries

he smiled at the rhetorical question
as he scribbled a new poem
on her napkin
yes, he said quietly


About the Poet:
j.lewis is an internationally published poet, musician, and nurse practitioner. His poems have appeared online and in print in numerous journals from California to Nigeria to the UK. When he is not otherwise occupied, he is often on a kayak, exploring and photographing the waterways near his home in California. His first collection of poetry and photography debuts on June 23, 2016, and is available on Amazon.


Photo by Iris Vallejo.


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