Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Request for Good Old Age

That's not what old age is.
Hearing from my Bobi and Zaidi*
it's more like you slowing down
and trying not to let it
slow you all at once.
It always seemed a habit that
Zaidi shaved every day--
since his face looks hairless
like there never was anything to shave,

but this old man here has cuts all over
his chin, and a few on his neck;
blinks like he's confused
but I know (or guess, really;
one is only ever an observer)
he's got his faculties together.
His gaze shifts so much.
That's not old age. Younger,
I always thought it was when
veins pop out just a bit more.

When my hands shake
and I cover my face
and it ends up shaking
like a bebop tilt-a-whirl
set me straight, will you.
Keep my eyes from staring
in one place.
Why should the mind slow
just because the body dances
at tempo lento?
Mouth set, eyes sweeping.
I would do nothing else.

*pronounced Bu-bee and Zey-dee (grandma and grandpa in Yiddish)

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