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
Robert Demaree is the author of three book-length collections of poems, including After Labor Day, published in April 2014 by Beech River Books. In 2013 his poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where he lives four months of the year. He has had over 650 poems published or accepted by 150 periodicals. For further information see http://www.demareepoetry.
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