Poetry on retirement and other things

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Column: Ruth Peterson, Washington Avenue

One word
Two words
What now?
Three words

Ruth Peterson

Is this real?
Four words
I can’t believe it.
Five words
What do I do now?
Six words
Does this mean I am old?
Seven words
Does it matter if I am old?
Eight words
Tell me. What does it mean to retire?
Nine words
Ready or not, Social Security, here I come. Woohoo!

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“Dipping my toes in the pool of writing”
Slowly, carefully, anticipating what?
Will it send cold chills of tension?
Will it be warm and inviting?
Ahh. It feels good.
At least the listening.
First the toe, then the arch and heel
First the word, then the phrase
Slowly, slowly.
I am smiling.

“My two bits worth — literally — for the week”
Washington Avenue Writers Group
Awash in create-ability
Life outpouring in words
Imagination, memory, humor and conflict
Revealing the human condition
It’s retirements compliment

“Playing with words”
Playing with words,
What was that childhood game?
Farmer picks a wife,
Wife picks a child,
Until the center was complete.
I want to say,
Word pick a word,
Word pick a word,
Until the sentence is complete.
The word stands alone,
The word stands alone.
Some days are like that.


There are mosquitoes that bite the ankles.
There are mosquitoes that bite the ears.
There are mosquitoes that bite the forearms.
There are mosquitoes that bite our rears.
Swatting is easy in those places,
And most places in between.
It is the ones on the back
That are hardest to whack.
They’re the ones that survive.
Here’s the query:
Think Darwin’s theory.
What comes next? Hmmmm.

“There are green beans on a steamy July day”

There are green beans to pick
Weeds to pull
A lawn to mow
Weeds to whip
And I am thinking about
Running through sprinklers,
“Slurpy” orange popsicles,
Firefly evenings,
The things of youth.
What was it
That made us run headlong into adulthood
On a hot steamy, July afternoon?
Maybe, perhaps maybe,
I’ll go running through a sprinkler
And this evening catch a firefly.
The beans can wait.

Reunions, whether they be class reunions, family, longtime friends or casual acquaintances, bring an interesting perspective when they happen later in life.

My eyes looking outward
My classmates I see,
Wrinkled and graying,
Bent by life living
How can it be?

My eyes looking inward
Myself I see,
Still feeling like 20
And feeling so free.

I am so glad I have my eyes
And not theirs to see.
The perspective is different
From their eyes
When looking at me!

Ruth Peterson is a member of the Washington Avenue Writers Group, which has a column that appears monthly in the Albert Lea Tribune.