Category Archives: aging

When the well has run dry

When the well has run dry
it comes without warning.
The tongue swells in your cheek,
thick and livid, so that
your words no longer speak.

When the well has run dry,
you curse Providence for
this damming of the source
of such early growth. You
rail. Yet it is, of course,

when the well has run dry
that the real work begins.
This is the place you give
yourself to the long task
of learning how to live

when the well has run dry,
the daily love affair
with hardy words you kiss
into unlikely soil
to bloom up from the dust.

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Senior day

Today was Senior Day in town.
Everywhere I went was awash
in blue rinse and that thin brown whiz
they offer up as free coffee.

At the Goodwill, the checkout girl
said without looking up, “Do you get a
discount?” Then flicked her weary lashes
towards me before saying, “I guess not.”

At the grocery, an elderly acquaintance
bellowed across three aisles that I was
looking far too thin. And the line was clogged
with hearing aids unable to read the self-serve screens.

Out in the parking lot, my way was blocked
by a perfectly-preserved 1980s Buick
straddling two spaces while its near-sighted
owner struggled with the gear shift.

Strangely reassuring, then, to arrive in the plumbing
aisle of the hardware store, and have a grey-haired
woman stop pushing a giant ladder just long enough
to yell, “There’s some young man here who needs help!”

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