I’m an obsolete

I’m an obsolete
the antonym of athlete
because I don’t like rambunctious people

I remember the days
of polite swallows
of teas and crumb-cakes,
when men wore fedoras,
as handsome on their heads outside
as on the hat-rack in our foyer

and you had to admire the way
they’d open the door of their automobile
and wait for a lady to seat herself
before gently closing the door
and driving us to the Palladium Ballroom

now I sit by the pond in my garden,
left fallow in my obsolescence,
so I ring the bell to summon the nurse
for my pills and some pleasant conversation

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 25 at The Sunday Whirl.

I’m raising funds for The Office of Letters and Light, the nonprofit organization that sponsors National Novel Writing Month in November. Please check out my Night of Writing Dangerously post, or check out the sidebar note between the two NaNoWriMo web badges. I’m one-third of the way to my goal!

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18 thoughts on “I’m an obsolete

  1. How wonderful it must have been inthose old days when men wore fedoras and when tea and crumb cakes were served! I like your completion, Richard. You have an interesting perspective.

  2. Ok…from the strictly wordle perspective, I absolutely LOVE that you used swallows in a way other than the birds. I thought about it as a verb the first time I read the words.

    From the standpoint of just liking words…I plain ol’ loved “obsolescence.”

    And from the poet’s vantage point…what a picture you’ve painted! As I’ve shared before, I often write to describe the image that’s popped into my head. Reading your words is like the reverse…I read the words and let them paint the picture. You included good details that helped me see this man as he was…and as he’s become.

    Oh…and as your friend, I’ll say: Yay, you!! 🙂

    ~ Paula

    • Paula, thanks. I’m always looking at those words to see if there’s a different way to use them. I’ve long been fascinated with words with multiple meanings and different parts of speech. It’s the teacher in me, I guess.

      Yeah, isn’t “obsolescence” just a beautiful word?

      I’m glad the words helped you paint a picture. Thanks for that.

      Richard

  3. Excellent write, Richard. It was hard for me to picture you not liking rambunctious people, but then it quickly became clear this was not you, but a character sketch. You’ve captured an old person, lost in thoughts of a life that’s sadly misplaced in old age.

  4. I’m running late again, Richard. I had to reread your poem to figure what you used to indicate advanced age so quickly. Obsolete was obvious, but I first thought it was a joking reference; however, when I saw fedoras and manners, I knew you were talking of the past–and obsolescence, that’s just beautiful.

    • Mike, thanks. I was worried that the first stanza, being self-deferential and joking, might not flow smoothly into what followed, but glad it cleared up on a re-read.

      Richard

  5. I like the way you got inside the head of this character, I didn’t see the wordle words but I was waiting for ‘convalescence’ , but perhaps there’s no way back from obsolescence,

    Well told!

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