In the inner room of the noisy café
an old man sits bent over a table;
a newspaper before him, no companion beside him.
And in the scorn of his miserable old age,
he meditates how little he enjoyed the years
when he had strength, the art of the word, and good looks.
He knows he has aged much; he is aware of it, he sees it,
and yet the time when he was young seems like
yesterday. How short a time, how short a time.
And he ponders how Wisdom had deceived him;
and how he always trusted her—what folly!—
the liar who would say, “Tomorrow. You have ample time.”
He recalls impulses he curbed; and how much
joy he sacrificed. Every lost chance
now mocks his senseless prudence.
…But with so much thinking and remembering
the old man reels. And he dozes off
bent over the table of the café.