On Being 91

I used to run
But now I walk

I used to walk fast
But now I walk slow

I used to walk slow
But now I mostly sit

I used to be married
For 65 years I was married
For 65 wonderful years I was married
But now I live alone
I live alone and mostly I sit

I sit at the kitchen table and eat and do crossword puzzles
I sit in the theater and watch an opera
I sit at my computer and write a review of the opera
I sit in an easy chair and read a book

I used to read books like War and Peace and Tess of the d’Urbervilles
I used to read “Great Books” by people like Plato
But now I mostly read mysteries

I used to read books for the first time
But now I read books that I’ve read before because I know I liked them but I have forgotten all of the details

I sit with a group of “Thespians” and we read plays
Sometimes we read a play for the first time and it is exciting
Sometimes we read a play for the first time and it is boring
Sometimes we read a play that we have read before
But if it is boring we don’t read it again

Sometimes I sit and listen to music

Sometimes I just sit

And when I am tired of sitting I take a nap.

This was inspired by an Elder Journey session. Amy instructed us to start writing with “I used to _____ but now I _____” and then continue writing. – ph

2 Responses to On Being 91

  1. AHSilver says:

    This is a beautiful piece of poetry.

  2. Peter McGrath says:

    A very nice poem. I found this site while looking for information on the McAlpine Maternity Hospital. I was born there in April 1947 and was curious about its history. I came across your site and started reading the history of your family. I was deeply touched by the writings – I am not sure why this was. It may be I am now looking back on my own life and the journeys I have taken.
    Thanks for sharing!

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