Any day in the life of a retiree

This list poem is my response to What day is it anyway? from Sarah at dVerse Poets Pub, where the prompt is to choose a day, then write a poem about the way that day feels to you.

Any day in the life of a retiree

Sleep in
Coffee
Watch the bird feeder
Breakfast
Read the news
More coffee
Read poetry
Watch the bird feeder
Housework
Write poetry
Go kayaking
Watch the bird feeder
Go hiking and take photos
Fill the bird feeder
Grocery shopping

Check
Check
Check
Check
Check
Check
Check
Check
Check
Check
Wait, that’s tomorrow.
Check
Check
Check
Or was that yesterday?

What day is it anyway?

Isn’t every day Saturday?

Omission ~ Remission

Omission ~ Remission

What follows is a free flow of thoughts – and not very cheerful, at that – looking back more than fifty years. It’s not something I’ve ever written about, for myself. I thought it was time. I learned a lot from my father, and we had a good relationship, but this is about letting him down, which was a lesson in itself. Those who are familiar with my writing will know that it’s a long piece, for me. To the right is a distillation, of sorts – again, not very cheerful.

Omission

Trying to be involved, but always
self-conscious. That was me, in school.
Except as an athlete, which wasn’t me, at all.

Until I was told I was fast enough
to run track. So, a ninth grader walked
to the high school every afternoon.

When an athlete’s dinner was held
at the junior high, I was clueless.
I wasn’t an athlete. But, yes, I was.

At the last minute, I attended,
only to find out it was a father-son event.
How could I tell my father?

I didn’t have to. Two days later,
my mother said, “Dad was at the bank
for the car loan. The president said

he saw you at the father-son dinner,
and he was sorry Dad couldn’t be there.”
Flash forward three years.

I remember her words like it was yesterday,
“You know, Dad went to your track meet
and you never acknowledged him.”

The one time he left work early
to see me run, and I didn’t see the one face
I’d always wanted to see there.

Too self-conscious, I would stay
away from the bleachers,
except to talk to my girlfriend.

It had to look like I was ignoring him.
Not a word was said afterward, but I knew.
He was disappointed. I would have been.

Did I feel as bad about it as he did?
It sure felt like it. It took me another week
to tell him I never saw him at the meet.

And he never went again.

Remission of Self

Class within class
Self-conscious

Wanting to be unseen
Self-consciou

Student or jock
Self-conscio

Extreme apprehension
Self-consci

Inattentiveness
Self-consc

A father’s expectations
Self-cons

Wanting to be seen
Self-con

Guilt by omission
Self-co

Unmet expectations
Self-c

Too little, too late
Self

Disappointment
Sel

Reconciliation
Se

Acceptance
S

Remission

Self

Ken Gierke

Linked to Write me some treats! from Lillian, for Open Link Night at dVerse.