This poem seems to cover two important issues: aging and 9/11 by my classmate Mary Lou Meyers.
Once we could laugh and love with no strings attached,
anchor expectations so they couldn’t fight back
or over do for a day or two.
We think we can cruise control at each stage,
nearing eighty, there is no way to map out a strategy,
lost in an abyss of no-contest.
Either it appeals to the surreal or lets us down abruptly.
Stoking up for a Reunion of sorts, cousin Bob’s 80th B’Day
counting heads before we go down the gang plank,
with gaps in between, those too old or feeble
to follow his patented dream of robotics via puppetry.
What a sight we are, hair dividing where there were
no divisions before, faces subdividing into coarse lines,
prominent nose to the ground, stoned like never before,
cancerous lesions out of control,
lips once sultry now puffy and conceding,
never believing there is still a story to be told,
a remedy for growing old.
Once our dreams were freewheeling,
instead we’re packed in like sardines careening
in a curved glass boat endlessly rocking,
distorting images on the shoreline, a macabre Fun House
while voices reverberate, barely touching down.
We pass by Brooklyn Tech, high school of the celebrant,
breaking into view we anticipate the Twin Towers
find only a substitute, Bob’s wife whispers to me,
“we’re going to stay over-night in the city,
Tara will show us where her brother died,”
not even a whisper of him remains, just a working, “Jack,”
who will never come back, his name impregnated
in a living Memorial to all those who died in 9/11.
The red, white, and blue lights shine on Miss Liberty,
hand still stretched out bearing a Torch of welcome
to all those who enter the shores of the Free Country
(now sucked in), even those bent on destroying
what we built up and coveted during our lifetime,
parents and grandparents before us, now in stagnant waters
while the not so gentle waves of age wash over us.