A WEEK IN RETIREMENT
You wake up in the morning, and there it is --
Another morning. If you live through it
(And probably you will) the afternoon
Will be there waiting for you. What to do?
It gets discouraging. Day after day
The same old thing. Almost. Maybe the pain
In your right ankle moves to afflict your wrist.
Maybe not. Maybe they both will hurt, or
Maybe neither; it matters very little.
You won't recall the day from any other.
And here's another morning falling through
A crack in time. What did I do yesterday?
Went to the Wiscasset gym, worked out
On a machine or two, came home with Jean
And stole a nap. Woke up and worked on this.
Spent time, or wasted it, I ought to say,
Watching Antiques Roadshow, Pawn Stars, Pickers,
Played with Claudette, our cat -- ah! Golden Years!
And went to bed. Claudette came, too, of course,
To keep me company in my recliner --
I can't lie on my back or it will break.
I drove to Hallowell to see my barber
Julie yesterday and saw instead
Roland, her father-in-law, the Yankee clipper
Who used to cut my hair before he moved
Out to Arizona -- now he's back
Again to my great delight! I asked him why.
He said, "Out there they asked me if I missed
The State of Maine, and I'd reply, 'Only
My customers,' but my wife most surely did.
So here we are again. We never sold
Our house. We've fixed it up, and now she's set
If I should take a dive." "You're looking great!"
"And how's yourself?" He asked. We're of an age.
We spent a while complaining. I went home
Looking great and feeling much the same.
Then, in the evening, Jean and I went back
Up to Augusta to collect our daughter's girls,
Phoebe and Jessie, while Melora taught
Her evening class. We took them out to dinner
At the Olive Garden -- a lovely time
Was had by all. I guess once in a while
The "Golden Years" are okay after all.
I was treated yesterday with great
Abandon: Jean went out to shop and lunch
With two of her henchwomen. Afterward
They did some other things, I guess. I went
And exercised alone. When I got home
I ate a plate of orts and read a bit,
Got bored, of course, jumped in my car
And went to have it serviced. On my way
Jean phoned to say that she was home, and where
Was I? I told her. Afterward I went
And bought a bunch of Valentines for all
The family and then went back to have
A third meal from our Sunday chicken. Yum.
Today I'll make a pot of sauce. I made
An omelet for us this morning, and
We'll have to shop before tomorrow's storm,
Supposed to be the biggest of the season.
Yawn. I guess I'll have to check to see
Whether I can start the generator.
I'm tempted to end this line with, "See you later,"
But of course I won't.
The generator wouldn't start. I pulled
The cord so hard I lifted the engine off
The ground partway. We called our handyman
Who came, but he and his helper had no luck
Either, even after they bought a plug.
None of us could raise a spark or cough.
The day was halfway done before I phoned
Around to see if I could find a new
Machine with battery ignition. None
Anywhere, and there was only one
Of the ordinary type -- that one I bought.
Bob Collins got it running by suppertime.
This morning our huge nor'easter is upon us.
At least the day was anything but boring
And now we're hunkered down, the three of us --
Claudette McFang the cat in hibernation,
Jean and me, so let the damned snow fall,
Set the wind to whining in the pines
Down by the Bog Brook winding through the yard.
Claudette and I awoke to look outdoors
And see the wind whipping past the window,
Snow coming down in curtains, piling up
In drifts that block the doors -- but that's okay;
Who wants to go outdoors in any case?
Of course, we still have power, since we bought
A generator we won't likely need
Now the blizzard's winding down a bit.
We won't be going anywhere today
At any rate or how or anyway.
The storm has blown itself clear out to sea,
And here's the morning sun come out to see
Our road's been plowed, our driveway has been, too,
Beneath a sky-dome colored summer blue.
This sun day is most certainly a winner
By any standard for a day of winter.
Melora and her gang will come for dinner
As usual before tomorrow comes
With weather once again: some sleet, some snow,
And boredom clutched in both its frigid fists.
-- Lewis Turco
Originally published in Per Contra.