To Begin To Live The Rest of My Life

When I left to write The Rucksack Letters, my friend Jay Burleson gave me a book of poetry by James Kavanaugh entitled There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves. This is one of the poems that really spoke to me as I set out to live the rest of my life.

“To Begin To Live The Rest Of My Life”

It makes no sense to my friends back home
That a middle-aged man should want to roam.
But I left the money and a share of fame
And I called it quits in the business game;
I left a house and a proper wife,
To Begin to live the rest of my life.

It makes no sense to my swinging friends
That a middle aged man should begin again
So the stories grew and the rumors rolled
As the tale of my madness was oft retold
But I can bear the gossip’s knife
To begin to live the rest of my life.

It makes no sense to society
That a middle aged man would take his leave.
The briefcase boys just shook their head,
My mother said I was better off dead.
But I packed my bag without advice
To begin to live the rest of my life.

It makes no sense to my neighborhood
That a middle-aged man is gone for good.
The preacher bowed his head and prayed,
My father said. Should have stayed,
But I went away with the rumors rife
To begin to live the rest of my life.

Well I’m lonely now but my heart is free,
I enjoy a beer and watch a tree,
I can see a cloud and feel the breeze,
I can buy some bread and a bit of cheese.
And I know full well it is my right
To begin to live the rest of my life.
Now I have no plans for security,
No proper wife can depend on me,
I’m not too sure of eternity
But I know when a heart is really free.
And I walk along with a step that’s light
To begin to live the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, James passed not long ago, but I am eternally grateful for his contribution to my journey.

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