Old Joy

In old age we deserve comforts.
I look around at other retirees
But can’t see myself on monthly RV trips,
Guzzling beer with games on TV
Or swilling daily cocktails.
Friends with children and grandchildren
Constantly attend their
Athletic and musical events.
With one non-reproductive adult son,
My time with children is small.

Artists and writers indulge their crafts.
My beloved literary friend, Mary,
In her nineties
Decides to be a modern Henry James.
Detailed social interactions cover hundreds of pages.
But no one likes her main character,
A wimp.
“Man up,” I urge the guy on the page,
“Make Mary proud.”
But she fails her character,
A lesson to me.
Is a task overly gargantuan?
Stay focused.
Be succinct.

Another friend writes skillful and passionate tomes
About her religion.
But I’ve no need to evangelize.

Boyfriends expect bickering
Pushing back and forth.
I’m right. You’re wrong.
And vice versa.
It seems to provide meaning in their lives,
But not for me.

For comfort in older age,
I joke with friends and family
And strangers at the beach and grocery store
And in Laughter Yoga class.
I draw and write
My awkward truths.
Each day, I strive to balance
Energy and repose,
Which might be peace:
The uncertainty is progress as
I slowly learn to revere my mind
And that of my son,
While I can.

Cate Burns is the author of Libido Tsunami: Awash with the Droll in Life, in which she unearths the ludicrous in the emotional live traps surrounding us — in families, friends and disastrous romances. Get it on Amazon today.