Brooke Astor

I am old and I have had
more than my share of good and bad:
I’ve had love and sorrow, seen sudden death,
been left alone, of love bereft.
I thought I’d never love again
and felt my life was grief and pain.
Twixt life and death the edge was thin,
then I discovered discipline:
I learned to take the good and bad
and smile whenever I felt sad.
I learned to care a great deal more
for the world about me than before,
began to forget both “me” and “I”
and joined in life as it rolled by.
This may not mean sheer ecstasy
but it’s better far than “I” and “me.”

(from the New Yorker archive)

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