No Clues by Charlie Brice

No Clues

by Charlie Brice

At 68 you dream
that you are flunking math
will never graduate from college
awake a total failure
it takes twenty minutes to remember
that you have a Ph.D.
a successful career

You crack
you break
parts chip off
you strive to be better
rarely succeed

Someone doesn’t like your poems
someone does
most are indifferent
the chip is on your shoulder

Time is both savior and executioner

You live long enough
to have something to say
but not long enough
to say it fully

You want to grow into yourself
but aren’t sure what that means
you resist common conformity
but want to be loved and admired

Life is a crossword puzzle
with no clues
you fill in the blanks
and hope that
what goes down and across

spells p e a c e


Charlie Brice is a retired psychoanalyst and is the author ofFlashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), and An Accident of Blood (forthcoming), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, The Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere.