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Below are poems written by poet
Monterey Sirak. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.
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She is ninety-something
A tiny old lady with wizened eyes
She says the hot dog on her plate looks good
“It reminds me of when we roasted them over an open fire.
They tasted so good, hot off the stick.
I don’t have much of an appetite anymore.
I waste so much food, and my mother would never
have approved with so many starving children in the world.
Would you help me put my leg back up on the chair rest?
My body doesn’t work too well anymore.
I wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always this old and crotchety.
I was young once too, and so was everyone else.
I was a child at my mother’s knee. I was sassy and a brat,
for children of six have such confidence.
I played with an Irish boy two doors down in Illinois.
He hit me in the forehead with a snowball wrapped
around a chunk of coal and I rubbed his face in the snow
until we were wet and cold and our mothers were mad
because we stayed out too long.
I am not as different from you as I seem.
I too had dreams, although I admit
they did not include the events I lived through.
The flu epidemic which swept the land,
where so many took sick, with children dying out of hand.
The big war, the first one. I was still a fairly young child,
but I knew the young men were dying, heard the mothers crying.
Then the depression came, with no jobs, no money, no food.
Each night on someone’s table there lay a posting of jobs,
but there were too many looking for work and too few jobs to fill.
No jobs were fat jobs, you were beyond lucky to get six bits a day.
That is seventy five cents, by the way.
I learned to make do with what I had. There was never any excess.
Not like for the generations who came next.
When World War II came we already had practice.
Only this time my generation was dying, and I was one who was crying.
Look in my eyes, I am still a young girl inside.
A young lady with plans to be a bride, to have my children at my side
and be the loving mother like mine was to me.
But my son took too many risks. I told him to slow the cars down,
don’t drive so fast. He did not listen and he died before me.
That is not supposed to happen.
I did not plan to get old and infirm and alone.
Everyone is gone. I told them goodbye, each and every one.
No one left to hold my hand.
No one left to understand the memories
prompting bursts of girlish giggles.
I never planned on being the one left for last.
never planned on my future becoming my past.
So much history remains alive in my mind.
I lived the events which shaped the world that you found.
Lived them time after time for ninety some-odd years.
No, I was not always this old.
I was young and fresh and in my prime, for a time.”