In a Sow’s Ear: In the twilight of life, priorities change and survival is king
Big Timber, Mont.
Clyde and Shorty, a pair of philosophical antediluvian cowboys, sat in rockers on the indoor porch of the Heaven Help Us rest home. They rocked slowly, but rhythmically, as they discussed the meaning of life and other important topics.
“Ya know,” Shorty said, “another year’s gone by and we still ain’t dead.”
“Well,” Clyde said, “I’m kinda glad about that. My Grandma and Grandpa stayed on top of the grass for almost a century. They usta say, Keepin’ On Keepin’ On — That’s What Counts.”
Crones and curmudgeons meet over tea,
Each of them old as the Bering Sea,
Their faces are canyons of wrinkles and creases,
Their jowls hang loose and flap in the breezes.
And liver spots grow all over their skin,
So close together, they’ve begun to blend in,
Their nose hairs are gray and ugly warts show,
They’re embarrassed to meet anyone that they know.
Where they used to be slim, they’re now wide as a truck,
Their feet have gone bad; they’re splayed like a duck’s,
Under-slung boot heels put a cramp in their calves,
Now it’s sensible brogans and medicinal salves.
Their ankles, once slender, resemble beer kegs,
You can see better shapes on an elephant’s legs.
Arthritis has twisted their fingers and toes,
They can recite you a list of twinges and woes.
Eyes that once twinkled and glowed crystal clear,
Have now got a film the color of beer,
Their tear ducts have filled with gelatin goo,
Not real attractive, but what can they do?
And control of their bladders is pretty darned iffy,
Wherever they travel, they look for a biffy,
As babies, their parents diapered their ends,
Now they’re over the hill and depend on Depends.
Though time can’t be stopped as life turns the pages,
Old crones and curmudgeons can still be outrageous,
Sliding downhill puts ‘em right there in the lead,
They’ve lived a long time and this is their creed:
It ain’t who you know, or how smart that you are,
It ain’t where you live or if you’re a star,
It ain’t if you’re handsome or gorgeous or swell,
Or even if all of your life you’ve stayed well.
To avoid the Grim Reaper, stay plumb alert,
Patch up your parts, put salve on your hurts,
For regardless of riches or fortune or fame,
SURVIVAL, my friends, is the name of the game. ❖
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