Monday, April 6, 2020

Us Old Farts

We're the ones

all this shit, this misery, this dearth

of paper products, this inconvenience, these masks--

these fucking Star-of-David masks!--

are all about.

Even those of you who feel safe

who wear them anyway, the masks,

you remind all who see you in them

of vulnerability, weakness, ours

and yours someday. Reminders

of the flip side of life’s merry conceits,

when it grinds down to its bitter essence,

when good-time Charlies get the blues,

when one-time divas step one toke over

the line from beauty to one too many

face lifts. When it’s downhill all the way.

Us. We. Boomers, the weak ones,

the demented, drooling, diapered old farts,

old and gray only in the way,

like me and my geriatric cohorts of the moment.

Without us, you youts will have it all,

all any of us old farts might have left

that you would want, that is, when all this

now is faded memory

of memes and gripes and jokes with

crazy sounding hahas, masks...regrets?


Old and gray and only in the way.

Do not go gentle, so the poet raged.

We’re on Death Row, us old farts,

awaiting that last-second reprieve,

when the death house phone rings

and it’s the Gov. saying Wait! Not yet!

I remember one who knew there’d be

no such call. Day before he fried

he snarked in the newspaper

with his answer to The question: did you do it?

No he said, he didn’t bash the women’s head

on the floor until she was dead.

I’m nonviolent, he said, presumably

with a deadpan face. Why, I can’t even

throw old shoes away, he said, because

shoes have feelings, too.
                                                                                                                            m.d. paust

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