The neighbor in his rolling chair
unbends from tugging tall weeds,
mops his forehead with a blue bandana,
flips the long gray tail of his hair.
We exchange greetings and he groans
how he hates growing old.
I refrain from that flip reply
about the alternative
and say I’m finding good things.
Sure, the body creaks
and chores take longer
but once in awhile
someone asks me a question
then really listens, wants to know.
I like passing on what I have learned,
realize people do life their own way,
and relish being an elder in the tribe
taking the long view.
About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones
Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.