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Golden Anniversary

She makes the bed, he folds the bedspread off,

she puts the crockery away, he washes the dog,

she turns the radio to the classical station,

he empties the hot water bottle


After summer comes fall, after winter spring


When there’s a problem, she picks up the phone

when he’s irritable, he doesn’t meet her gaze


She likes to rearrange the furniture, it makes her feel refreshed

he tells the same jokes, she always laughs

she gets twenty emails from her buddies every day

he speaks to his brother maybe once a year


They say perhaps there’s water on the moon


He drives the car, she files her nails and phones her friends

he eats that spicy sauce that always gives him indigestion

she feeds the birds;  he lets the lawn grow into a jungle

she plants her cactus cuttings in decorative pots


Every day he walks five miles or more;  in between

this and that she plays solitaire;  she pours salt on slugs

he walks past without a glance


She trims his hair, he makes her soup, she folds his clothes

he rubs her back with china oil, she remembers his birthday

two weeks in advance and G-d forgive him if he forgets hers


When they add up their combined age, they frown

and sometimes shrug or sigh and twice a week they turn off

the phone, send the cats downstairs, fluff up the pillows,

feel seventeen again, laugh at their arthritis


Outside, the sun at night does somersaults across the sky’s applause

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© Johnmichael Simon



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