Self Help: A Guide for the Retiring
Author: Elizabeth Poreba
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For the retired and/or retiring, a personal exploration claiming to be a self-help manual, a poet’s musings on the experience of no longer having much to do and being disinclined by shyness to join a book club.
Life could become a summer afternoon, a slow swim in a warm lake. I could become another backyard roustabout, part of the greedy gang eying the vegetable garden. The larcenous woodchuck returns. We exchange a long gaze but he gives no clue of what to do next.
The poems ponder various ways to adapt to unaccustomed leisure—napping, complaining, gardening, volunteering, and so on. Observing time’s curious way of intermittently sprinting then lollygagging, and understanding more clearly every day that time doesn’t exist anyway, the poet relishes moments, which are
… liable to be caught
like a leaf in the eddy of a brook, lodged
only long enough to look,
and which become her subjects.
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