A good run; Arrangements; Cleaning; Doubts; Poetry of Age

A good run

Me muero por morir como mi padr
obedeciéndole al canto
“Me muero por morir como mi padre
” Cacho González Vedoya

To tire, to choose, to finally decide
– Enough. I’ve had a good run.

To know one is in too deep to get out,
that one is going to face her alone

– all cliches aside: the better places and
final rests, the welcome from the family

and friends gone before, the reunions,
the joyous reunions – all that hope aside.

That brave moment, that willingness to face
the inevitable -- my father chose that,

that surcease of the hope that had him
tethered to himself – a good run.

I will belong
to that city
I die in,
mourned in that

No one need
talk to a headstone
or niche or urn
or bronze placard
on the ground,
flush with the grass
of convenience.

Go out to any street
at night, under
whatever light
time can muster
and call my name.

Pick up something from your desk
and say to yourself, “I cannot part with this.”

Of course, you can, and must, just
as certainly as organs fail without notice
and malignant growths flourish.

You will part with all of it. The old women
knew – elderly ladies, widows, offering clothing,
the tiny treasures of dead husbands, to the boy
who cut the grass, who put on the storm windows,
who raked the leaves and cleaned the gutters,
who shoveled snow from driveway and roof,

the boy who thought: “How sad these things
no longer have an owner. How sad are
these cookies the ladies bake without appetite.”

Perhaps he learned the compassion
there he now looks for, needs.

It all must go. You must learn to give
and then to throw out, to relinquish, to forget
the thoughts: “this is still good” and “keep for later.”

There is no later.
All that’s handed down, knows this.

We have left off reading the body,
being attentive to signs and signals,
sounds and the lack of sensations.

Science is easier, the myriad tests
and analyses we suffer without gaining
any certitude. It is still pain from
1 to 10 and counting heartbeats.

Faith is hard. We assume we’re assured
tomorrow, this afternoon, the next hour,
have calendars and lists, plans and projections
– the pedestrian questions:
Where do you see yourself in five years?

We look for an answer, search out a plausible dream
without asking ourselves how old we’ll be.
Poetry of Age

It’s complaint – pure and simple.
The rules, our lives, largely a gyp.
We’ve been swindled out of health
and wealth by constant change,
accelerated progress, an exhaustive,
exhausting need for more, and
the perniciousness of youth.

Is it any wonder our poems seek
audience so desperately? Loneliness
is endemic. We have so many things
to say and no one who will wait
long enough to let us speak, hear us out.
We are old and either talk to everyone
or no one. We hope death will listen.


Douglas K Currier holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and writes poetry in English and Spanish. He has published in several journals: Comstock Review, Café Review, Main Street Rag, Stone, Poetica Review among others. Author of three collections of poetry in Spanish and two in English, he lives with his wife in Winooski, Vermont, and Corrientes, Argentina.