Friday, April 08, 2005


Today’s Poem of the Day is one that I like to trot out, by way of offering consolation, whenever someone has a birthday.

Today, Barry R-, one of the Minyan Boyz, celebrated his annual Trip Around the Sun according to the customs of our little group. Shots of Johnnie Walker Gold at the shul, followed by breakfast at the Local Bagel and Smoked Fish Emporium. It’s traditional for those celebrating a birthday or observing a yahrzeit (anniversary of the death of a loved one) to pick up the breakfast tab for the whole crowd.

So: what better time than now for a poem that addresses the topic of Getting Older?

Time Marches On
It Sure Beats the Alternative

It’s hell, they say, when you get old.
Your toenails all are caked with mold,
Or maybe other kinds of fungus.
It’s hard to breathe with ancient lungus.
All bloodshot are your rheumy eyes,
All weak and stringy are your thighs.
Your pancreas is stiff and sore,
And buttocks droop towards the floor.
With exercise, your muscles ache,
It feels like all your bones will break.
You day by day get soft and flabby,
Your disposition loutish, crabby.
Digestion, once a simple task,
Becomes a chore (and please, don’t ask.)
Shoulder joints all get bursitis.
Your bladder wakes you up at nightis.
Your backbone gives you many pains.
Increasingly sieve-like grow your brains,
Until you cannot keep in mind
that “this is your elbow, that’s your behind”:
Getting old, it is not kind.

But whene’er these thoughts go thro’ my head,
I think: “It sure beats being dead.”

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