If You Are Lucky
You Will Grow Old
And Live
A Life Of Errands.
You Will Discern
What People Need
And Provide It
Before They Ask.
You Will Drive Your Car
Here And There
Delivering And Fetching
And Neither The Traffic
Nor The Weather
Will Bother You
In The Least.
You Will Whip Down The 405
To San Diego
To Pick Up An Acorn
For Someone's Proverb
And So On And So Forth.
In Spite Of The Ache
In Your Heart
About The Girl You
Never Found
And The Fact That
After Years Of
Spiritual Rigor You Did Not Manage
To Enlighten Yourself
A Certain Cheerfulness
Will Begin To
Arise Out Of Your Crushed
Hopes And Intentions.
How Thirstily
You Embrace Your Next Commission:
To Sift Through The Sunglasses
At A Lost And Found
In Las Vegas
Just A Few Hours
Across The Desert.
Your Hair Is White
You Have Breasts
And A Gut
Over Your Belt
You Are No Longer A Boy,
Or Even A Man
But A Sense Of Gratitude
Enlivens Every Move You Make.
Yes, Sir, These Are The
Very Gold-Rimmed Pair
She Left In The Plastic Tray
Beside The Dollar Slot Machines.
No, Sir, I Am Not Lying.

December 31, 1999

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 Leonard Cohen.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Photo © 2001 M Epstein. All rights reserved.