It’s not a word you want to hear
at a performance review
at your child’s school
in a doctor’s office,
describing your lymphoma,
sounds strangely reassuring.
She buried her husband a generation ago,
Her brother and sister ten years before.
There were five at her last high school reunion,
Now the other four are gone.
The little girls who were her joys are grandmothers now.
The sturdy young men who married them are aging too.
The grandchildren struggle with teenagers and middle age.
There are no friends to come to call.
No one remembers when she was young
Or the way things used to be.
The songs, the jokes, the memories are hers alone.
Life goes on, they say.
Some days, it seems too long.
Her life is now in extra innings,
An elongated tie.
Only the true fans are still around.
We know how it will end but we don’t know when.
Death bats last.
Baby Boomer 2021
My favorite t-shirt’s wearing out,
All those washings took their toll.
The fabric’s thin, the letters cracked.
My favorite jeans are going too.
The knees and seat are sagging,
The color is faded, like my hair.
My social fabric’s under stress.
Bad news comes much too often:
Another friend is sick or dead.
The world I know erodes around me.
My top-notch skills are out of date.
Even the grocery’s been remodeled.
“Hang loose” is what we used to say.
I hang loose among the losses.
Different days ahead.
Wendy Freborg has been writing poetry for a long time, even before her work was first published in Ingenue magazine in 1964. She is a former editor, a very good social worker, and a lousy businesswoman. She has one husband, one son, two grandchildren, enough friends, and too many doctors. A New Jersey girl, she has lived in California for a very long time.