FOR MARJORIE AT SEVENTY-NINE

(Inspired by Janis Ian)

No truth to learn at seventy-nine
Except that living on is fine.
So many friends now turned to dust,
Their camaraderie once robust.
A few, surviving faint and frail,
Now faraway as memories fail.
No unlived dream for which to yearn —
At seventy-nine not much to learn,

Except sometimes the past unwinds
And leaves a word or thought behind,
A song or phrase recalls a scene —
The world was old at seventeen
But still too young for “might have been”
Before the births and deaths begin —
Now living on is fine
At seventy-nine.

You’ve got your true love at your side
To share the times we’ve laughed and cried,
Our magic moments still alive
For love has helped them to survive.
“Together” is now a precious word,
The sweetest song we’ve ever heard
And each new day a Valentine
To share together — at seventy-nine.

No need for old age solitaire
Sheltered in places with despair,
No time to waste remembering when
“Remember was” will come again:
The present’s a wide and shining place
For past and future to embrace
And living on is just divine
At seventy-nine.

(FROM SANIBEL JOE AT NINETY)

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