no contest

We eye each other on the beach:
a stand-off at fifty paces (or
some twenty years): Perk n’ Proud
aaaaaaaversus Slightly Saggy.
I fall back, your round.

We catch each other’s eye again
as I stagger bent and small,
carrying four towels, three surfboards,
aaaaaaatwo buckets, and one ball.
Your legs stand further apart
like a tripod, surveying the crowd.

We dare to eye each other’s girl.
One wears a bikini, the other
a very practical beach top.
You think you’ve done me again,
but I know I’m in the game.

Leaving, we look each other’s way,
as you lower yourself, shirt off,
into the seat of your car
and I wearily climb up into mine;
both proud, a glint of respect.

I smile, thinking of you again,
after making love, better
than it was twenty years ago.
There’s no pride, no envy,
just maybe the hard firm control
aaaaaaaof wisdom growing.

Published at 52/250 A Year of Flash, May 2011.