ON TURNING 76
We have entered into the years
When only one brand of a thing will do:
Large globs of supermarket shaving gel
Drip wastefully, inadequately
Into the white faux-marble sink,
A thousand watts of light
Sparkling in our well mirrored
Master bath at Golden Pines.
Neurotic habits to hasten sleep,
Deleting the departed from the e-mail list.
They say that 70 is the new 60, or even 50,
We try to walk every day.
We have given up parallel parking,
Certain kinds of spicy food.
(On the way to the card shop.
I listen to an old CD,
A favorite singer from the ’70s
Now hidden away in Memory Care.
The sympathy section is expanded, I see:
Special cards for loss of
Spouse, uncle, cat,
Mother after a long illness.)
Burgundy blotches—broken capillaries—
Appear on your forearm
They seem to vanish on their own,
Although I note that later on
This is not the case.
The a cappella group had sung
“Teach your children well…”
And we were taken back
To those wistful years
Whose optimism proved
Newlyweds, we sat in her parents’ den
Watching the President and Congress
Sing “We Shall Overcome.”
Polemics make poor poems,
So I will ask only this:
Not What’s in your wallet,
But How did we get from there