Patience and Prudence

At a corner table of a Wendy’s
an old woman sits every morning
bent over her paper,
her coffee and half eaten egg
patiently awaiting further attention.

In the banality that is old age
she thinks how little she enjoyed
the years of youth and beauty
when she might have been shameless
instead of prudent.

Now she is old but only yesterday
she was lush of hip and breast
inhabiting the fantasies of young men
their desires glowing openly
in eyes that looked at her.

How many impulses denied;
joys sacrificed, chances lost
in the name of sensibility,
security, planning the future;
Oh how the Gods laugh at those who plan!

But it was only yesterday
and now she curses those who counseled
patience and prudence; to plan for tomorrow
to be proper, to do the right thing
“You have so many days ahead!”

Oh the things she might have done
had she not bridled passion;
lovers not taken even as their voices trembled;
novels not written, places not seen;
age now mocking senseless caution.

Children are having kid’s meals
screeching infants demand attention
she must go home before she gets dizzy
rest her head on an empty kitchen table.




About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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8 Responses to Patience and Prudence

  1. elainecanham says:

    I love that. I’ve read it twice now. Here’s hoping our old age isn’t going to be banal…


  2. sojourner says:

    Amen. I saw my parents, in their old age, unhappy and filled with regrets for allowing others to tell them how to live their lives. I determined not to allow this to happen to me, early on in my life.

    And as difficult as life is, at some points, now, at least I have no regrets in this way, since I allowed my passion for life to lead me.

    Wonderful poetry. Thank you!


    • toritto says:

      Sojourner – Glad you liked and many thanks for the re-blog! Living here in Florida I see lots of us old people, perhaps sitting in a Wendy’s. I look at them and wonder about their lives; about their triumphs and regrets. As Robin Williams once said in a move: “Seize the day lads. Seize the day”. Regards


      • sojourner says:

        Exactly! We were placed here, first and foremost, to live, and yet most of us choose not to. It is sad, very sad!

        BTW, I fixed my typos in the intro. I’m still a tad bit retentive, but that’s okay;-)


  3. sojourner says:

    Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II and commented:
    For all of you young people who are heeding the dire warnings of those much older than you, here is a poem you might want to read and take to heart. Life is shorter than you think, and time is fleeting. So don’t allow others to tell you who to live your lives, especially those who have never lived life at all!

    Thanks, Toritto!


  4. We will always regret the path not taken. Well written you!


  5. toritto says:

    Thank you rusty. I’ve found that no one on their death bed says “I should have worked harder!!”.

    🙂 Regards


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