When we are old
we can dare once more
to ask the questions of children
   Why do birds sing
   Where is Grandma now
   Who made God
And like children we can listen
to our parents’ answers
with skepticism

When we are old
no one will examine us
to see if we know the alphabet
   When is past perfect
   How do you spell scrod
   What is a gerund
All they will want to know is if
we remember our social
security number

   As long as we can still hum along
   with the melody we’ll be all right

“The man who has many answers is often found
in the theaters of information where he offers, graciously,
his deep feelings. While the man who has only questions,
to comfort himself, makes music.” ~ Mary Oliver


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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