If we're together When we're older, If one's not left for another, If one's not dead, Or out of sorts Or imprisoned on an institutional bed; Let me tell what lies ahead.
We'll go to sleep wearing socks, And rise by our internal clocks; While on walks we'll hold hands, And listen while the other talks. We'll sit content by the St. Clair River In Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
We'll have our tea and buttered toast, On weekends enjoy your Sunday Roast. Around the table our children sit, With grandkids we're blessed to be with. Then, in the evening, when all are gone, And we're in our home of homes, I'll confess my love again; You're all I've wanted all along.
Old women Old women Bent over Or straight Bony thin women ****** women Soft but deflated Old women Sitting alone Holding a plate Of half-eaten food Of all-shattered prospects Of blowzier days Romance and contexts That never materialized Or did But then vanished Or slipped away Leaving so many Silenced and banished Useless as pennies Sitting in corners Under old women shawls With little to do
But hold onto plates
Old women Old women Boarders in Somebody’s house Or some institution On somebody’s orders Or out on the street In old woman confusion Holding a plate To hold onto something Old dried up promises Lingered impressions Of young women hopes Things that once mattered All in the past Leaving old women tattered Trying to atone For young women sins For whatever they did To be so alone Or whatever they didn’t In those Rare lucid moments Old women quicken
Still holding their plates
Old women Old women Hide old Beating hearts Beneath sour old garments Old women scarves Hide old women failings Hold old women tongues Against old women wailing Of things that have gone With unsteady fingers Still gripping plates To show themselves living To avoid being left - Tho’ some old women prefer - For the old women train Taking old women wherever old women go To never return Around an old women curve The young never see coming Are never prepared To face old women shaken By old bodies broken Of old women forsaken
Hold onto your plates
A friend of nearing 70 called me one morning, distraught because the world "is getting to be a lot." I spent the rest of the day when I should have been working writing a not particularly symmetrical poem I call "Holding a Plate."
She’s highness, deaf but not muted. Still dignified, past perfect, but still pushing. Withering tea addict, laughs at her own sophisticated and immature jokes. Farts. How the highness gracefully descend.
Relaxed, reclined, hands placed still on abdomen, yet they’re itching. Noisy breaths lift her sinking body, till she’s plastered to the bed, not quite motionless. Can’t decline. Sits up. Peering, active, but stunted.
This one's about my grandmother. She used to be this royal lady and she still is but with deteriorating hearing.