When I awoke on the morning
of my two hundredth birthday,
I expected to be consulted
like the Sibyl at Cumae.
I could tell them something.
Instead, it was the usual thing:
dried grapefruit for breakfast,
Mozart all morning, interrupted
by bees’ wings,
and making love with a woman
one hundred and eighty-one years old.
At my birthday party
I blew out two hundred candles
one at a time, taking
naps after each twenty-five.
Then I went to bed, at five-thirty,
on the day of my two hundredth birthday,
and slept and dreamed
of a house no bigger than a flea’s house
with two hundred rooms in it,
and in each of the rooms a bed,
and in each of the two hundred beds
‘On Reaching the Age of Two Hundred’ by Donald Hall, The Selected Poems of Donald Hall.
It’s National Pet Day today.