THE OLD MEN’S TABLE Written during Nancy Slonin Aronie's excellent workshop "Writing From The Heart"
Every Sunday morning There they are Bright eyed and watch capped Grinning slyly As they solve the problems of the world.
No topic is off-limits. Israel, Congress, and Viagra All fall before their quick wit And infinite wisdom.
Laughing uproariously They pontificate over their coffee. Five guys. None less than 70. Three cups of regular, one decaf, One dry cappuccino stirred with a tiny spoon.
Three heart guys, two hip replacements, one kidney condition. They compare the sins of aging. They’re a riot, and they know it, These coffeehouse regulars.
They’re proud that the barista knows their names. They all think she’s cute, worthy Of a vaguely recalled hard-on.
I’m reading the paper Drinking my soy latte and chewing my bagel Occasionally trying to eavesdrop. They could care less. I’m not invited.
What’s that bump on your face Ama? Squelching humiliation, I say, Oh, old people get bumps, sweetheart. It’s because we have so much wisdom. We just can’t hold it all inside, so Out it pops.
Now, when he’s bored, He places his small finger on my bump. He says I’m taking all your wisdom, Ama, And you don’t have any left. I am now supposed to be simple, He is now wise.
With great seriousness, he explains things. This is where the snow comes from, Ama. Those are stars, Ama. They are far. You can’t run in the street, Ama. And he is comforted by his wisdom, While I admire.
When he tires of the game, or He wants me to read to him, He puts that finger back on my bump and My wisdom comes back. He is comforted by me being a grown up again, And I work on accepting my bump.