A Look Back Look at the past, look at the present. My before and after pictures, one in my teens, head full of hair, one in my sixties, head full of nothing. Where were all the things learned from all the years in between, but time took hold and all was forgotten Look at one, full of potential, then look at the other, head turned around to see what happened. Estate Planning Offers It was confirmed I was getting older after receiving an email on an estate planning webinar addressed to the Class of 1975, and then sending it right during the coronavirus pandemic, to a group that I was a part of, the higher at-risk age group. Was it bad timing or a coincidence, but hoped their message found me and my loved ones healthy and well. As for my estate planning, I leave you all my old college yearbooks, including a few pictures to remember me by, my diploma, stating I graduated from your college, something you remind me of from time to time, along with my heartfelt gratitude, but other than this, thanks for the offer, but I will take a pass at this time. New Morning Ritual In days of old, it used to be called a newspaper, but now it is more like a newsletter, short, condensed, a Cliff Notes version of its former self giving me a sense of what was going on, but still, it just wasn’t the same. My morning ritual had gotten shortened, and I was still trying to figure out how to fill that gap in my daily schedule, maybe having to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock one more time before getting out of bed and welcoming in morning. The Hill Up Ahead I looked out the window, only to see a hill in the distance. One not so steep to prevent me from climbing it, but what would be my purpose in climbing to the top? To look down to see what was at the bottom, only to see where I once sat? I know where I am, where I want to be. Climbing the hill may be in the future, taking the winding path, but for now, I am in no hurry, there are other places to visit first. Hokey Pokey Revisited What if the Hokey Pokey really isn’t what it’s all about? Brad Meltzer – The Escape Artist Put your left foot in. The process has to begin somewhere, and the left foot is as good of a body part as any other part of the anatomy. I admit I never knew what it was all about, nor even claimed that I ever knew like some who claimed to know everything and who were never wrong about anything. Now put your right foot in, and test the waters. Is it cold? Is it warm? Oh yeah, don’t forget to take your left foot out, unless you are ready to jump in with both feet first if you really think you know what you are doing, or you actually know what you are doing. You put your head in, but only after giving it a careful thought. You put your head out, if you really haven’t given it much thought at all. You can skip all the other motions of the dance, unless you are really convinced that the Hokey Pokey really isn’t what it’s all about. Disappearing Library One by one, the books began disappearing from the bookshelves in my library. No one was stealing them, and I wasn’t aware of any magicians that were around to make them mysteriously vanish into thin air. Some were never finished, after only reading a few pages, finding the author’s book was a chore to read, quickly abandoning it, as if evacuating a sinking ship. Books like those were easy to depart with, while other authors who had made my top ten list, and had once decided on keeping all of their books, but as time passed, that decision had changed, narrowing the list further by keeping only those books featuring my favorite characters from those authors. It was time in my life for downsizing, where some books were sold, others donated, with boxes and boxes going out of the house. Maybe someone else would find that right author and another collection would spring into life, just as mine is ending. Another part of the life process, always evolving, a sad moment for one, a new wonderful beginning for another. The Tree Stands Alone The tree stood out from all the other trees in the area, having no leaves on its branches in late summer, its life having ended some time ago, but soon, it too would look similar to all the other trees as they lost their leaves this autumn. Its appearance would remain the same as the years passed by, until that time when its branches finally rotted away and fell to the ground. Its remaining life in this world, a slow decay. Movie Days Around Christmastime when you were younger, we would see the latest Christmas movie, not that we didn’t see movies throughout the year. We saw the three Home Alone movies, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Jingle All the Way, The Santa Clause, and The Santa Clause 2. Back in those days I could take you to a movie with your friend and sit next to you, then things changed. I could take you to a movie with your friend, but we sat on opposite sides of the theater, then the time came when I could only drop you off but I couldn’t be in the theater at all, and then, finally came that moment when you were old enough to drive. The movies changed and our relationship changed, not that it was bad, but I understand.
Duane Anderson currently lives in La Vista, NE. He has had poems published in The Pangolin Review, Fine Lines, Cholla Needles, Tipton Poetry Journal, Poesis Literary Journal and several other publications. He is the author of Yes, I Must Admit We Are Neighbors (Cyberwit.net – 2021) and On the Corner of Walk and Don’t Walk (Pacific Poetry Press -2021).