This is not a poetry only blog site nor is it normally a site where we center on issues regarding aging. But, it is a site where we post thoughts and observations that we are having here in retirement in Ecuador. And, this is what I have been thinking about lately.
Please bear with us as we post one more poem regarding aging.
One clarifying note has to do with the reference to being ninety-three – My father used to tell corny jokes just like my mother did. One of the things that my father repeated quite often went something like this, “Scientist have proven that if you drink carrot juice everyday until you turn ninety-three, you will live to a ripe old age.” He thought that was pretty funny and he would substitute other things for the carrot juice and then stress that you could not stop until you turned ninety-three or it would not work.
I have no pictures to add – other than the sweet mental picture of my mother returning from the pool anxious to share her collection of new jokes.
So, here goes:
When My Mom Was My Age
When my mom was my age she had to have surgery on her knees
Afterward she went to the city pool for some “hydro-therapy”
She’d pack up her towel and her swimming suit and off to the pool she’d go
Whatever the “old-folks” did there, it took three hours or so
She’d come back with several jokes she’d learned from other pool-goers there
And tell them over and over again to anyone who’d come near
The exact procedures she practiced there we never really learned
But, it amounted to walking back and forth (as far as we could discern)
Every now and then she’d complain to my little brother and me
About the rigors of working out at her, “hydro-therapy”
We both were “young” and I’m afraid we expressed little sympathy
We could not believe that walking in a pool could ever cause fatigue
Now I’m old and this afternoon I worked out in our little pool
I did leg-lifts and flutters and other moves that only young men can do
I churned up the water violently with my arms both left and right
And extended my legs back and forth to a most impressive height
I stopped for a bit in the Ecuador sun to let my pulse slow down
Pondering how life’s circumstances always come back around
What my brother and I once scoffed about and teased my mother so
Is now the “exercise routine” that has become my own
I wish my mom was still around to “exercise” with me
I would even let her repeat her jokes, no matter how corny
We could drink fresh maracuyá juice and dry off in the sun
And I would try to let her know how proud I am to be her son
I hope my kids will laugh at me until I am ninety-three
And say there is no real exercise in hydro-therapy
My prayer is that this “exercise” will lead to longevity
So that someday my own grandchildren can exercise with me
I will tell them lots of corny jokes and stories from my youth
And (unlike other older guys) I will try to tell the truth
About the love from generations past that has forged a legacy
And built the strong foundation of the Macdonald Family
Life goes on and…
It is good in Ecuador!