From Mary Lou to me: I thought you might find this poem to stir up a few juices of the elderly. In order to get my 5% off my insurance, I took the four-hour renewal. The same man that was there so many times before teaching the course was there again. Here’s my take on it:
MY NOTE: Word Press is giving me spacing problems, so I added ____ where Mary Lou made breaks in her thoughts.
His bent form springs into action as he greets each participant,
twenty-eight years after his initial class.
He could write the AARP Drivers’ Manual with statistics to match,
an illustration or quip or two that hatched from the only humor
he ever knew while it grows on him; at respectful intervals
he insinuates them, but don’t expect to compete like I did
once adding my own humorous poem. He was disgruntled
that I should attempt such a sacrilege.
Little known facts come into view with his tutelage
as the white lines at the side are fog lines,
but our country roads are not wide enough to contain them.
He is dedicated to the task, has learned a thing or two,
waste time you’ll have to make it up adding to,
because the only class that makes sense is the nine-hour one,
he prefers to teach, while this is only four,
the only thing that brings together this group
is the 5% discount from their Insurance.
Older drivers have fewer accidents but more serious ones.
After 85, everything changes.
Putting your pedal to the metal is the least of it.
Driving requires multi-tasking, but then you learn
what modifications can be made to help even the playing field.
It’s only when faced with Old Age,
do we start seeing clearly since others see
what we only see in a haze,
I wore P’J’s for years before I realized the splash of colors,
the odd geometric forms of various proportions and sizes
actually spelled out a word. “It spells Peace, Nana” my granddaughter said,
she of the high-five generation and the instagrams.
We don’t see ourselves as others do, thanks Robby Burns,
I finally understand, but who cares, he carries on, does no harm
and as the introduction by the Senior Center Director
is as good as any professor in college.
It seems the fundamentals remain the same which I learned
once in Grammar School in the 123 Go Club
where a certain preparedness is necessary in order to take into account
the daily conditions while crossing the street.
The Rank, File, or Speed Dial doesn’t matter any more
when you have few opportunities to demonstrate your skills.
Frank is his own persona though few of us are.
Though he is plain of face, figure curved to his task,
he can keep his plainness to himself,
it is almost irrelevant for he wears his wasted form
like a badge of courage.
He gives much and asks for only a little respect,
now that he is far beyond reproach
having put in 28 years of hobby or extra-curricular activities.
He will not give a notice no matter how much.
Or one can search for a divining touch if you must,
but this world offers little or nothing
for the age-racked and ruined
and almost but now quite consumed.
The outcome was pronounced,
each participant had an out-of-body experience
feeling the impact of a vehicle out of control.
We would be forever impacted with all the assaults of age,
as each session brings us to an older age.
P.S. from Ellen Sue – My maternal grandmother drove almost until the end of her life (82). She used to drive an Austin-Healy back and forth to Florida from NJ all by herself. According to one of my cousins, she was the first woman driver in N.J. When I Googled this, what came up was my essay “I Remember MeMe” on my website, where I mention this “fact” that I cannot prove. Oh, well, she was a terrific role model, whether or not she was the first NJ woman driver. Here is the link to that essay from my archives: https://wp.me/p82Ooe-2ZN