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Poet's Platform Column | 18 Sept. 08

by Janet Nesler | The Scioto Voice | Wheelersburg, Ohio


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There is a young, warm,
stimulating woman
trapped inside this aging body.
She screams for help
but there are no ears to hear.

Other hearts see only age spots,
protruding belly, eyes that crinkle
when she laughs.
People who used to find her
“Captivating” now call her “Honey”
at check out counters.

She fights for freedom,
for recognition of who she is,
for longings never yet realized.
The years feel anything but golden
in the wake of stark reality.

This is the way it works,
age is the captor, the possessor,
the annihilator, the victor.
The woman submits,
Smiles obediently as she watches
vibrant youth flow out her fingertips.

Janet Nesler



Old Folks are Worth a Fortune

Remember, old folks are worth a fortune,
with silver in their hair, gold in their teeth,
stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet
and gas in their stomachs.

I have become a little older since I saw you last
and a few changes have come into my life since then.
Frankly, I have become quite a frivolous old gal.
I am seeing five gentlemen every day.

As soon as I wake up, Will Power helps me get out of bed.
Then I go to see John then Charlie Horse comes along,
and he takes a lot of my time and attention.
When he leaves, Arthur Ritis shows up and stays
the rest of the day.

He doesn’t like to stay in one place very long,
so he takes me from joint to joint.
After such a busy day, I’m really tired and glad
to go to bed with Ben Gay. What a life!

The preacher came to call the other day.
He said at my age I should be thinking about the hereafter.
I told him, Oh, I do, all the time.
No matter where I am in the parlor, in the kitchen
or down in the basement,
I ask myself what am I “here after?”

Mary Woodward
Wooster, OH


Grandpa’s Youth

“Grandpa why are you so old?”
Asked a little boy of eight.
“Well, son, youth left me,
It walked right out the gate.”

“Will it come back, Grandpa,
to make you young again?”
“No, it’s gone forever
but memories of it remain.”

“I was young once like you,
so much fun I had,
playing baseball with my friends
going fishing with my Dad.

I passed my youth to your father,
he passed it on to you.
So enjoy it every day
For when your old like me, son,
Your youth will fade away.”

Florence Wagner










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