John Updike, RIP

Collected Poems, John Updike

In Extremis

I saw my toes the other day.
I hadn’t looked at them for months.
Indeed, they might have passed away,
And yet they were my best friends once.
When I was small, I knew them well.
I counted on them up to ten
And put them in my mouth to tell
The larger from the lesser. Then
I loved them better than my ears,
My elbows, adenoids, and heart.
But with the swelling of the years
We drifted, toes and I, apart.
Now, gnarled and pale, each said, j’accuse!
I hid them quickly in my shoes.

–– John Updike

UPDATE: More Updike light verse HERE

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