Three generations, 1923
PREFACE TO THE PAST
Time all of a sudden tightens the tether.
And the outspread years are drawn together.
How confusing the beam's from memory's lamp are;
One day a bachelor, the next a grampa.
What is the secret of the trick?
How did I get so old so quick?
Perhaps I can find by consulting the files
How step after step added up to miles.
I was sauntering along, my business minding,
When suddenly struck by affection blinding.
Which led to my being a parent nervous
Before they invented the diaper service.
I found myself in a novel pose,
Counting infant fingers and toes.
I tried to be as wise as Diogenes
In the rearing of my too little progenies,
But just as I hit upon wisdom's essence
They changed from infants to adolescents.
I stood my ground, being fairly sure
That one of these days they must mature.
So when I was properly humbled and harried,
They did mature, and immediately married.
Now I'm counting, the cycle being complete,
The toes on my children's children's feet,
Here lies my past, good-by
I have kissed it; Thank you, kids,
I wouldn't have missed it.
Ogden Nash, 1950
För den som brukar besöka bastmattan är det knappast någon överraskning att höra mig prata om en av mina favoriter — Ogden Nash — betrakta det som en hyllning på hans 118 års födelsedag.