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Poet's Corner

Statement: Growing Old Together


There’s a kind of love, maybe just compassion, that we feel for old people

any old person. And when the we is the significant other of the old person

it is love, it’s love added to the regular compassion I just mentioned.

Also love added to the love we felt before.

Being on old person whose significant other is slightly older, and slightly less healthy, than me

I feel that new, doubled love. And I take care of him.

When we walk together, I’m always on the lookout for steps for him to rest on.

And when we take buses together, on the lookout for the ones that involve the least walking.

But I’m not a caregiver. I was a caregiver for my first husband.

16 years of paralysis from M.S., six of them not in a nursing home.

That was caregiving, 24/7, of a ridiculous order.

This is not that. Besides, Jon takes care of me, too. Assuages my computer woes

makes us breakfast every Saturday, that’s our tradition, and he knows how much I hate

after dinner, putting away the leftovers so even if it’s my turn to do dishes

he does the putting away of leftovers.

He’s also the photo-taker in the family, and the plumber-caller.

Yes, this is regular “growing old together” When you grow old together

there’s a love you feel that you didn’t feel before you were old.

And I like it.

Marion Deutsche Cohen is known, in particular, for her writings (poetry and memoir) on spousal chronic illness, late pregnancy loss, and math. She is the author of 33 books; her newest poetry collection is “Disturbing Shapes” (New Plains Press). She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature at Drexel University’s Honors College.

Poet’s Corner is curated by Bucks County Poet Laureate Emeritus Tom Mallouk and supported by a grant to the Bucks County Herald Foundation made possible by Marv and Dee Ann Woodall.

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