Sixty years old

Michael Gollin
July 3, 2017

Sixty years old
At fifty five, I slowed down.
I had been going fast and faster.
I lost running, walking unaided, walking at all, standing.
I lost typing, driving, using tools, gardening.
I lost eating solids, eating liquids.
I lost hugging and kissing.
I have my five senses and the sixth one, love.
I am grateful for the insurance and money
to afford round the clock care.
My eyes work, and I have a little motion in my neck and left arm.
All night I dream I am healthy.
I am enveloped in love.
It  is a tragedy to die in your fifties,
but it’s just bad luck to die in your sixties.
An improvement.

Power of light

Through impossible distance,
the star shines into my eyes.

The waxing moon, much closer,
mirrors sunshine across the night sky haze.

Airplanes’ blinking beacons trace travel
from treed horizon to treed horizon.

We seek to see the Perseids, shooting stars
of August, meteor showers, patiently.

My wife finally sees one but I have my head down
while the nurse suctions saliva from my mouth.

There were more meteors last night I hear.
But the darkness, even diluted with city lights,
is worth watching for the sake of the show.

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope
Michael Gollin
March 2013

 

I wake with joy each morning
to a beautiful new scene,
and I take strength to face the blues —
Whatever life may bring.

But my Swiss friend sees, he told me,
when he looks up or down,
“a kaleidoscope of shit”
in different shades of brown.

A farmer, he knows well
the many hues of excrement.
Cow manure and chicken poop, sheep dung,
human waste, every stinking scent.

Of course he meant he is depressed,
hopeless, tired, and gray,
no sprig of green, no sunlit beam,
can brighten up his day.

But he called to talk with me,
and we turn bad to better.
Friends and family, though worlds apart,
can keep their shit together.
***

Spring snow

Spring Snow
Michael Gollin
March 30, 2014
***

After we endure two days of rain,
the air and ground turn white again!
Snow to end the month of March? Really?
But still, I offer you my guarantee —
something you can count on —
Spring will come! (I won’t say when.)

You can just believe me,
or stick around and wait and see.
And when new blooms have conquered snow,
I can say I told you so.

Every spring in Rochester,
my father used to say:
It always snows in April,
it sometimes snows in May.

He kept his word, with nature there,
we never proved him wrong,
and I will keep my promise, too,
that Spring will come along.

***