Yesterday I saw a little girl hold a puppy for the first time.
Her eyes sparkled as it’s tiny tongue tasted her cheek.
As I watched, I felt a stab of envy.
How long has it been since I knew such unbounded joy
At so simple a thing?
When did I lose my sense of wonder…the tingle of excitement
For a new pair of patent leather slippers
Or candles on a birthday cake?
Or the feel of a warm puppy wriggling in my arms?
Does growing old mean the end of awe?
Did it leave me suddenly?
Or did it melt away
With the encroaching years?
I want to feel again…I mean the heart thumping, goose bumps,
shivery kind of butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling.
I need to be amazed and thrilled, charmed and puzzled,
Delighted and disarmed.
Why should I drift, day to day, in a state of arrested emotion
Just because my hair is gray, my face lined,
And my joints creaking?
Are we, at birth, allotted only a measure of emotions
And when that is used up, do we live out our days
In mute despair, peering out of our shell
Detached, disengaged, untouched and untouchable,
Unloved and unloveable?
Margaret Hall Simpson
February 8, 2004