A Reluctance for New Wine

The fabric of threadbare hope

Stretches toward year's end.

Pieces of frayed ambition extend

To cover the old wineskins

That many disclaim

But few set aside.

Like children clutching tattered dolls,

We hug in vain security

The rags of the past,

Because in some degree

They are accommodated to our wills.

The outworn selves we cling to

Can be our own

The more as time goes by:

We patch and mend

In order to possess.

The New

Stirs something deep within—

But I would not willingly admit it.

                              --Elton D. Higgs

                                (Dec. 31, 1977)

Photo: "Sofa" by Gzooh. CC License. 

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Elton Higgs

Dr. Elton Higgs was a faculty member in the English department of the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1965-2001. Having retired from UM-D as Prof. of English in 2001, he now lives with his wife and adult daughter in Jackson, MI.. He has published scholarly articles on Chaucer, Langland, the Pearl Poet, Shakespeare, and Milton. His self-published Collected Poems is online at Lulu.com. He also published a couple dozen short articles in religious journals. (Ed.: Dr. Higgs was the most important mentor during undergrad for the creator of this website, and his influence was inestimable; it's thrilling to welcome this dear friend onboard.)