Aging Poem

Lonely Elderly People Feeling Unseen

A lady friend of mine had just turned 75, and she said she had reached the age of invisibility, so I wrote this poem with her in mind.

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James T. Atkins © more by James T. Atkins

Published by Family Friend Poems November 2019 with permission of the Author.

As a child, I recall, I used to think the coolest thing to be,
truly nothing could be more fun than invisibility.

I could sneak up on my sisters and scare them if I chose.
I could frolic through the park all day without a stitch of clothes.

I could listen to friends' secrets, know everybody's plans.
I'd know what lovers whispered when they were walking, holding hands.

I could catch wild birds and bunnies, steal honey from the bees.
I wished so very many times for invisibility.

As a man I knew, or thought I knew, amid strength and vim and such,
believe only in the things we see, most in what we can touch.

And the wind alone, on her orphic voyage, as she blows across the seas
knows the secret, which she holds close - invisibility.

Now I sit here on this bench all day and never get a glance.
My steps are slow, my hair is grey, near the end of life's sweet dance.

No one hears the words I say, a gnarly face that no one sees.
It seems my childhood wish was granted - invisibility.

Point of view, I guess, where we're standing at the time,
and the things we're so damn sure of can turn right on a dime.

And those things we sometimes wish for may in another season be
Like what I granted late in life...invisibility.


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