If you asked if I would skinny dip
You would have hit it on the nose.
But that was back when I was still
Rather attractive without clothes.
Now I don’t go around naked
As long as it is in my power.
I’ve gotten so fat and wrinkly
I wear undies even in the shower.
I’m not kidding around a bit
When I talk about this aging stuff.
I not only don’t look so sexy
When I walk around in the buff,
There are certain types of clothes
I do much better to avoid wearing;
Me in sweat pants or leggings
Is not a sight I enjoy sharing.
I’ve begun to look a bit like
Laundry that is not quite dry.
I’m not much surprised by this
Because I understand why.
I have been around a long time
And have enjoyed my ice cream
But it makes one into a pudding
And makes other people scream.
It’s just not a good idea these days
To show of what time has done.
There are such things as hotties
But I know for sure I am not one.
You know those Botox babies
You see on the Hallmark Channel?
Notice how they don’t look like
Their faces are made of flannel?
Well, I’m not into all that stuff,
That reconstructive surgery.
I don’t expect to look today
Like an escapee from a nursery.
I just make wardrobe choices well
Bearing my current self in mind.
I look upon some of it as wise
And some of it as me being kind.
There is an ancient woman
In the market near my home
Who walks the timeless amble
Of a battered soul alone.
Her pasted orange tresses
A marmalade cascade
Fall so stiffly down to where
Her hand is always laid
Clutching her treasure bag
She goes her way careless
Ignoring chiding glances
At her faded evening dress.
Her story hides in rumors
Whispered by those who work
In the shops and restaurants
Here near McArthur Park.
They say she was a movie queen
Or an extra in the silent days
And an accident at the studio
Made her bald unto this day.
She refused to remove the wig
She ran out crying, in costume
And now she is still wearing it
Hoping he will find her soon.
The woman at the pharmacy
Said her hair caught on fire
At a movie in the twenties
Her boss calls her a liar;
Says the leading man did it
In a fit of rage and jealousy
When she wouldn't marry him
He set fire to the scenery.
Others heard that she was fired,
But she wouldn't leave the set
So deep inside her mind
She really hasn't left it yet.
Some have tried to talk to her
But she never speaks that much
Except inquiring prices and colors
Of the goods she chances to touch.
To direct questions and advances
She turns sadly away and leaves.
You can tell she is sensitive
You can tell by her face she grieves.
It is easy to see she is living
In some world that is not ours
Her world seems a place of gloom
Of thunderstorms and showers.
She caresses with her fingertips
Along the banisters she passes
And she seldom lets her gaze linger
Behind her smoked sunglasses.
Her satin dress has faded,
Like the color of her hair.
She still lingers in each moment
When she walks down the stair.
She never seems to notice those
Who stop and goggle at her
And they are many, these gawkers
But they just don’t' seem to matter.
She seems to have accepted
What her life has now become.
She has been coming to the park
For decades more than some.
This may be a playground
For popeyed urban gnomes.
But this is where she shops
This decaying place her home.
This park is very much like her
Many ages past its prime.
The vestiges of past glory
Have not been erased by time.
I never thought I would live this long.
I thought I would be dead by fifty.
Live hard, make a pretty corpse
Seemed, at the time to be nifty.
But, fifty came and went on by
And did so relatively quickly,
And here am I, not doddering
Not stooped over, not sickly.
I remember being that kind of kid
Who thought forty was old age.
The kind of oldster playing gramps
In the movies and on the stage.
Gray hair meant guys near death,
I needed not too much convincing.
Thinking of that, thirty years on,
These days, has me broadly wincing.
Looking back is more difficult
As eyesight loses credibility.
So much of what one sees in youth
Is forgotten so very easily.
I look at the photographs of me
Back when I had flattened abs.
Back when my flesh was taut
And hung on me in solid slabs.
I didn’t seem to have any limits
And could do anything I’d care.
Now a long walk is difficult and
My best friend is an easy chair.
Today I see life as a daily feat
That seems to come on quietly
Like a maid in a swank hotel.
It comes in and then out, silently.
I hasten to assure, I am not
Complaining about anything.
I have had more than my share
Of victories, spent my winnings.
It’s just that I never planned
To be an a senior citizen,
Entitled to cheaper entry fees,
An early-bird buffet denizen.
With amazement I nod whenever
Young people offer their seats.
And any time I run a bit too fast
My heart skips a couple of beats.
Then I walk by a mirror and see
That older person standing there
Who is amazed to still be here
Rocking a head of gray hair.
I beg of you
A poem for the seniors.
I beg of you, do not go to college.
You've heard it all wrong,
about the future, I mean.
I heard what they told me,
I remember it clealy...
If I want to be happy, if I want a job, if I want to make a living for myself...
I need to apply
I need to make the deadline
I need the best SAT
Take it once, twice?
Okay maybe three.
get good grades
You heard it all wrong.
Have you been out of the state,
Neither had I.
find a program,
see whats outs there.
You are so young,
college makes you sit
it makes you stay
it makes you spend your life away
inside your head.
You wont be leaving
and if you try
your debt will choke you
you can't leave that behind.
So I beg of you,
get out while you can
Not a lot has changed inside
From who I used to be.
I’ve gained wrinkles and gray hair
But that’s just humanity.
It doesn’t change the facts at all;
I am still who I always was.
It’s the packaging that changes
And that has a reasonable cause.
When I forget something
Folks call me old and senile
But, the fact is that I have
Been doing that for quite a while.
Ever since I was a kid
As a matter of pure fact.
So, don’t mislabel something
That is not an aging fact.
And when I groan a bit
When rising from my chair
It’s a bad habit I learned
Long ago, some bad where.
It is laziness and whining
And that’s the pure truth.
It has nothing to do with
My distance from youth.
When my eyes get misty
At something I may see
It’s not that old age has
Has totally overtaken me.
It’s because I’ve been around
For enough of these years
To recognize the feelings
That go on behind tears.
So tip your hat to me, my friends
And you surely won’t go wrong.
There is a bit of credit due
For sticking around this long.
It has given me some vision
Due to plenty of hindsight,
To make better decisions now
And to make most of them right.
Four years spent here
Four summers at band camp
Memories to last a lifetime
Long hot practices
Hearing ‘Love ya mean it’ daily
Supporting the football team all season
Friday nights at Wildcat Stadium
Sometimes followed by competition the next day
Late nights and early mornings become routine
Long bus rides to competitions
Coming home on a win
Loud roll calls in your ear
But still loving it
Last band camp, last premier show, last football game, last marching practice, last competition, last band bus ride, last competition
Last festival, last concert practice, last concert, last band banquet
Not ready to leave
Never thought you would make it this far
Never thought graduation would be around the corner
Never thought about leaving the band room for the last time as a student
Never thought about last field show or game/competition
Would ever come up
Seniors to be dearly missed
Can’t believe this time is here
To say goodbye
To graduate and move on
Don’t want to leave high school band
Don’t want to leave a family of supporters
But know we will always be here for you
Love ya Seniors
How will I be able to say
To those who helped create
Who I am today?
To those who held me
When I cried?
To those who I wish
I could have another week with?
To those who I said I hated
yet secretly held a place in my heart?
How will I be able to utter those words...
I don't want to have to say them