I am not as oldhttps://i2.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/IMG_3514-001-1-e1540044522730.jpg?fit=1920%2C1440&ssl=119201440Robert Alan RifeRobert Alan Rifehttps://barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/close-bw-e1539636404656.jpg
No, I am not as old as
the wilting membrane of earth –
the skin of her secrets, too tightly
breast-held and leaky.
No, I am not as old as last
winter’s back-porch bread crumbs,
now frozen in cracks of concrete
and flaking paint.
No, I am not as old as the clock,
heavy in memory and fingerprints –
evidenced in her calloused hands.
No, I am not as old as the long-
faded colour now framing the painting’s
place – a reminiscence tucked in
a reminiscence. The irony of old beauties.
No, I am not as old as the tales and
fables, born wild and then loosed
in the telling, fermenting into
No, I am not as old as the coughing
farm truck, grizzled metal and clogged
arteries, belching orders under
a hollow back, still unbroken.
No, I am not as old as the cathedral
stone, serenely quiet in the preachy
way of ancient things always new.
Canadian born, Robert Alan Rife serves as Minister of Worship Arts for Yakima Covenant Church in Yakima, Washington. He’s a celebrated recording artist, singer-songwriter, liturgist, poet, and writer. His two blogs, innerwoven and Robslitbits nourish his love for the music of words. You can find his writing in numerous places, including The Bees Are Dead, Relief Journal, Transpositions, Centerquest, ALTARWORK, among others. Most of all, he looks for sacramental intersections where life, liturgy, literature, the arts, and spirituality meet. Oh, and he loves haggis.