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Men At Forty

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Written by Donald Justice

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 Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.
At rest on a stair landing, They feel it Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship, Though the swell is gentle.
And deep in mirrors They rediscover The face of the boy as he practices tying His father's tie there in secret And the face of that father, Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something That is like the twilight sound Of the crickets, immense, Filling the woods at the foot of the slope Behind their mortgaged houses.


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