The Senior Citizen and the Boy Scout
The boy scout jumped up and ran
to help me lock my bike
by Troop 42’s stand at the fairground.
Truth is, I didn’t want help. You see,
I’m 63 and quite able to pedal around town.
It wasn’t his fault, the leader—behind the table—
egged him on. Help her, Dan.
I said, I’m fine
but the man insisted, and poor Dan
has learned to obey those commands.
I’m not the nimblest with my hands
through coils and key, but the way I see it,
if I do it more, I’ll be better by 64.
I could have been gracious and agreed,
and everyone would be set at ease –
Instead I said in a tone that surely showed
I was a crusty old crone, I don’t need your help.
He backed off and I fiddled with the lock
until it caught and I walked away.
All day I replayed what I wish
I’d been mature enough to say:
Thanks, I’ll try myself
if I can. You’re a kid,
I bet you understand.
Still, couldn’t the troop leader
have told that part to Dan?
Falling in Love is the Wrong Idiom
Swept off our feet by that first wind of love we do not fall
in the gutter like a discarded candy wrapper, we rise—
a kite a balloon a swallow
And isn’t love like bread, slowly gathers the power
of bubbling yeast, leaving space
for one another to enter, don’t we rise to something delicious?
Climbing the winding staircase of the old lighthouse,
yes, there’s love, steep but always a glimpse
of sky with a slice of promise
Even the morning after we argued, my fist slammed
against the wall, crashing our photograph
to the floor, we rise out of bed and pick up the pieces
because love isn’t squashed underfoot, and look
who we are now because we reached through
our shadows, met in the glare of uncertain selves.
The orange moon lifts off the horizon,
its reflection on the sea a path of shiny pebbles
even as night falls, love rises
Joanne Durham is a retired educator lucky to live on the North Carolina coast, with the ocean as her backyard. She was a finalist for the 2021 NC Poetry Society's Laureate Award and the NC State Poetry Contest. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Third Wednesday, Gyroscope, Rise-Up Review, Tipton and other journals and anthologies. See https://www.joannedurham.com/.