Tag Archives: Aging

Poems and stories about growing older,aging, deteriorating

THE ALBUMS

THE ALBUMS

Mother’s shrinkage was marked by domicile

House, apartment, retirement and nursing home
shedding at each move, furniture, china, and art
except for, and never, the old photo albums
heavy in padded leather brown and green

Each visit when conversation stuttered to a stall
(Religion all but Baptist drowned
and what use is weather without crops)
out would come the albums
and in we all would dive
for pennies
bright and shiny at the bottom of the pool

Here’s one from 1958
how young the queen looked then

LEONARD COHEN AT EIGHTY

LEONARD COHEN AT EIGHTY

There is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in

Anthem

Growing old does not dim
the magic that you hold
for you were always old

That women want
to sleep with their fathers
Freud would not consider odd
(though nuns may call it God)

but no matter how many cracks
you or the light might see
growing old is still
not all it’s cracked up to be

so you’ve fought
depression all your life
and perhaps you always will

but for mere boys who must compete
it’s more depressing still

LOST AT SEA

LOST AT SEA

Uncles, aunts, old friends and more
all sinking below the metaphor
on the way to that distant shore

The keel hauling of cancer
Walking Gehrig’s plank with ALS

Hanging from the yardarm
of emphysema’s choking rope

The lightning stroke of stroke

The sudden iceberg of heart attack

The slow arctic crush of hoary old age

Or slowly sailing, deeper and deeper
into Alzheimers’ fog bound banks

There are a thousand ways
to get back to the launching line
I’m not sure I’m ready yet
to speculate on mine

DAD AND ROY

DAD AND ROY

Dad and Roy were the best of friends
they drank and fought and played
and laughed like nobody laughed
for fifty years and more

Dad had a room in the nursing home
way down at the end of the hall
when Roy was admitted as well
a nurse wheeled him down that hall

They sat footrest to footrest a minute
then Roy said “So its come to this”
and they both had a hell of a laugh

Dad died in late December
Roy lasted three months more
They are buried twenty feet apart
in the prairie town where they played

I can see them there now
sitting on their shiny new stones
having a smoke and a chew
and a good pull on a forty of rye

Roy says “So its come to this”
and they both have a hell of a laugh