# 39A to 39Z

Poet's Notes
(Show)

Inspired by an epiphany at age eleven:  the numbers and letters all came together one evening while I was doing my arithmatic homework.  Strangely enough, the next day was a Friday   AND  it was my teacher's birthday.  One girl's mother sent a large birthday sheet cake with fancy writing on it for she and her homeroom class to share.  I noticed there were no candles, but my friend Gene went further...too far.  "How come there aren't any candles on the cake Mrs. Richardson?  Were there too many? She looked quite taken back as I remember. A couple of the girls  'gasped', so to speak. One said, "Geeeene!"  Mrs. Richardson smiled and said, "Class...today I am 40 years old."  I was surprised, because she did not look that old to me.  She looked my mother's age, 32.  I gathered my nerve and said, "No, Mrs. Richardson; you're 39A!"  She asked for an explanation, which I eagerly gave. Just then, the Principal came in the room to offer his best wishes.  She said, "Mr. Reddington, today I am 39A!"  She explained my "system" to him and he was quite impressed. She was always especially nice to me after that.  And....one day a few weeks later, I overheard one teacher tell another that she was 39D.  I was proud.
When I was young, I noticed Many adults stopped aging at 39. Had something to do with Jack Benny And trying to hold back time.   Then I noticed something else. They often spoke of retiring at 65, And many of them seemed to hope They might still be alive.   The difference came to 26, A number I knew very well. The number of letters in the alphabet We use to print and write and spell. Then it occurred to me, For folks holding youth so dear, Just add a letter to 39 Each and every year.   39A would be 40, 39Z would be 65. After that, start letters over again Or just be glad you’re still alive.   So, you see, it’s easy To forever be 39. You may fool yourself & others, But you can’t fool Father Time.

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.