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

PLAYING OLD 78s AT THE NURSING HOME

PLAYING OLD 78s AT THE NURSING HOME

Aunt Myrtle
skips a groove from time to time

The needle, still diamond sharp
plays 1952 for a round or two

Then the niceness of the people here
grandpa’s bad temper, and the size
of the long kitchen at the farm

The sweetness of her husband
sometimes here and sometimes gone
and where is he now?

Reminded that he died some years ago
with quick humor still intact, replies
That would explain why he never comes to visit

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