One Hundred Seventy Five Years Old



by Jim Harrison

I just remembered a serious argument.
On my seventy-fifth birthday I had the firm sense
that I was a hundred seventy-five. She disagreed.
“Look at your driver’s license,” she said. I said you know
the state of Montana took my license from me. She
went to my briefcase and got out my passport.
“You’re a mere seventy-five,” she said.
I said, “How can you trust the government
in this important matter?” I went to bed
after a couple of drinks believing I was a hundred
seventy-five. In the morning I felt
only seventy-five and apologized at breakfast.
I’d lost a hundred years and felt light,
younger, more energetic. As a boy I saw in Life
magazine photos of the Civil War veterans. I don’t
think there are any left, are there?
They would have to be a hundred seventy-five.
Sometimes I remember aspects of that damnable war.

“Marriage” by Jim Harrison from Dead Man’s Float. © Copper Canyon Press, 2016. Reprinted with permission.

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