The Olding Man’s Retirement

He had retired, a long-expected dream.
Not one he’d liked, but still it had occurred,
and now, instead of generating steam
for projects where he had the final word
and spending evenings building up his team,
he waked when he could sleep, and found absurd
his days containing only three events,
unless he counted going to the Gents.

He tried to paint, a vagabond from rules
he’d built for thirty years, but could not draw
the curtains yet. He’d founded schools
for analysing worlds, but could not claw
his way with chalk. His sketches looked like drools
debility might bring to him. His flaw
was that his visions failed to make the paper.
He threw his easel out, a useless caper.

He joined a gym to taper down his waste
and exercised his options to get fit.
The girls he met there showed no urgent haste
to join him in his exercise, emit
admiring ooh la la’s. They were not chased
by hormones in his case. No need to flit
about and waste a ‘hi’ — this wispy weighting lad
was old enough to be their uncle’s dad.

He persevered, with moxie built from years
of start-ups masterminded, funds and all,
by his enthusiastic drive. With cheers
and grunts he hailed the savage wake-up call
he’d set himself for five. He gave up beers
and fatty foods, embraced a volleyball,
and sallied forth with quotas as of old.
It lasted fifteen days. He caught a cold.

Recuperating fast, he took up games
limiting himself on purpose to just three.
All games he’d played, he still knew all their names
and half their rules. He paid the entrance fee
required for each sport’s club, and suffered shames
he hadn’t know before. He couldn’t see
four moves ahead. This forced him to confess
he’d lost his touch, or never had finesse.

A sailing yacht soon tied up at his dock.
He put on Mephisto boat shoes every dawn
and polished brass and teak until the clock
announced with bells across his perfect lawn
the cocktail hour. He buffed the starboard chock
before he took a drink. It made him yawn
and wonder what it was he felt he’d lost
now he was free and quiet. No longer boss.

2 thoughts on “The Olding Man’s Retirement

  1. As someone hoping to retire soon, married to someone who’s also counting down to an imagined goal that he keeps changing, I absolutely love this. Retirement might not be an easy adjustment, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

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