Age is a snake that takes up residence,
just a small little snake, on your shoulders,
on the day you are born. Your radiance,
your energy and strength match your blunders,
and the viper is kept at bay for a while.
Oh, it marks the mistakes, the broken leg,
mindless anger, and it grows, and with wile,
cinches up like a belt, lets lose a peg,
when it has to, when mind and body are sure
and clean and honest and uncompromising.
It waits, for those times when you are unsure
of your course, and grows, when shortcuts you are taking,
old wounds and ills ignored, when you don't correct
the harm you've done, it waits to fatally constrict.