Saturday, September 6, 2014

A poem from another era

Okay, the photo is up-to-date (too bad that's not me), but the poem is old fashioned, the sort that used to be printed in a number of  popular interest magazines. It's not a deep or serious poem, it's not even a poem I'm  proud to have written but it almost wrote itself one day. A poetry writer, older than I, recently sent me his locally printed chapbook that contained a version of the title.  That set me off thinking about a gathering I had very recently been in where everyone was 60 or older, some considerably older and I witnessed an understanding and acceptance in the group toward one another that is reflected in the poem.  Those are my apologies; in the poetry class I take no one is allowed to make such self-derogatory remarks.  A good rule but I have a certain amount of pride and had to  say it.

Things Only Old Folks Know

The lost word or name is not a disaster
It doesn’t mean dementia or Alzheimers
It happens to everyone quite often.

That blank look and unresponsiveness is okay,
It isn’t snobbishness, anger or ignorance,
Our hearing isn’t what it used to be.

Sitting quietly as others leave the room
Isn’t disinterest or disagreement,
It’s just so damned hard to get out of the chair.

The shrug and sigh at news of scandal
Isn’t indifference, it’s boredom with the stupidity
And arrogance of celebrites, stars and politicians.

The shaking head with the downturned mouth
Isn’t sudden onset of Parkinsons’ disease,
We’re not surprised the world’s going to hell.

The lavish sprinkling of salt, pepper or hot sauce
Doesn’t mean the cooking’s lousy,
Our taste buds have been dying one by one.

What those young folks -- whippersnappers --
Don’t know has to be forgiven. They’ll learn
When they’re lucky enough to become one of the old folks.


Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

Oh boy! Do I resemble this!! Love it! I am nit alone

June Calender said...

No, you are certainly not/nit alone. I wish there was a place to send it to be published. Alas, no magazines publish poetry any more.

Lynn Guardino said...

Oh yes, those whippersnappers do have a lot to learn.
Loved the poem and the photo, well, it's priceless, totally.

barbara judge said...

June -- Your photo is hilarious. I copied your poem and sent it off to some dear old friends that I know will get a charge out of it as I did. thanks -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks for the good words, Lynn and Barbara.

Kass said...

Love the picture and the poem.