Poem: Embracing Your Inner Old Man (AKA Saturn’s Shopping List)

Old man

Aching limbs

An old man has invaded my gentle bones

Can’t he just go away?

And take his wretched Zimmer frame elsewhere?

I look at Stairlifts

And curse them with a petulant stamp

Of my old, gouty feet

Liverspots dance before my eyes

Like hallucinatory invitations to dementia

Oh, Saturn –

Can’t you give me a break?

I know I have the mind of an ancient

But must I have a body that feels the same way?

My beard is so long and wispy

That it keeps wrapping itself around my ankles –

Sometimes I tie the dog to it

And use it as a hairy leash

But I have no dog

He is just the ghost of a whimper

A final heaving groan

That I swept under my vomited-stained rug

Spending days and years

Out in the cold, wind, and rain

Who can blame my spine

For rearing up like a serpent

And looming above me

Ever ready to strike?

I might as well just walk to the morgue now

And save the hearse driver the effort

The mortician will look at me and say:

“Son, what are you doing here,

You’re only twenty-four?”

To which I will respond,

With a heavy, resigned smile:

“It’s such a lovely day:

I don’t mind waiting.”


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