Thursday, June 18, 2009

Old in the City

You grow geraniums
And crochet baby-bonnets
But you walk slowly
Every day more slowly
As if there were a rock
In your poor belly
You stay away from doctors
They'd send you to the hospital
Where pieces are cut out of you
And after that you die
Instead you walk to the park
Where there are oaks and elm trees
That stream up to the sun
With triumph in their branches
Where there's a secret nation
Of squirrels who find it convenient
To set up their nests in the treetops
Like vendors who set up their stalls
By the steps of a great cathedral
And sometimes you sit in the playground
Waiting for the children
Who come when school is out
They rush in all together
Throwing their books on the benches
And racing to the swings
Over and over again
Their feet in their battered sneakers
Fly up into the air
And their hair too is flying
A wordless and intent
Delight is in their faces.

-- Anne Porter

"Old In The City" by Anne Porter, from Living Things Collected Poems. © Zoland Books, 2006. Reprinted without permission, via Writer's Almanac (the divine Garrison Keillor)

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